CSU athletes rank highly in their sports
By Jim Berdysz
April 5, 2012
As the weather gets warmer and the last month of the semester finally begins, it’s time we take a look back at the cold winter months of this past year to highlight four outstanding athletes, each of whom stood out in a big way this season.
For four months, each of them worked hard at their respective games, practiced late, and dedicated themselves to their teams through the ups and downs of a season, keeping one similar goal in mind: to win a Horizon League Championship.
These four winter athletes are Trey Harmon (Men’s basketball), Shalonda Winton (Women’s basketball), Joanna Olsson (Women’s swimming), and Nathan Grant (Men’s swimming).
Sprinting out to a 20-4 record out of the gate to open the season, the Viking men’s basketball team looked like it was well on its way to a dream 2011-12 season. While the team ultimately fell short of expectations down the stretch, losing key players to injuries and struggling with consistent play, senior guard Trey Harmon always seemed to be in the middle of the action.
Without Norris Cole on offense for the first time in four years, Harmon stepped up and became a true team leader throughout the entire year, and is a big reason why CSU had early success at the start of the season.
Harmon led the team averaging 12.6 point per game and was one of the Vikings consistent 3-point shooters, sinking 38 percent of his shots from behind the arc. The senior was also named to both the Horizon League’s All-Second and All-Defensive teams, the first player since former Viking guard Cedric Jackson to make the All-Defensive team in consecutive seasons.
He not only became one of three players to amass 200 three pointers in his career, but was the 20th player in CSU history to reach 1,000 points in his career, while also setting a school record with 71 three’s this season.
The Viking women’s basketball team may have finished the season 12-19 overall, but there was plenty to take away from this season both on offense and defense.
One of the brightest and key contributors on the women’s team this year was junior forward Shalonda Winton. For the second straight season, she led the Vikings in rebounds and averaged at least 12 points per game.
This past season was a breakout year for Winton, as she averaged about a double-double each game (18.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game). She also was the Vikings leading scorer in 19 of 31 games this year and in 17 of the last 21 games as well.
Winton was also named to the Horizon League’s All-First and All-Defensive teams for the first time in her Viking career, scoring a team high 566 points on the year.
Both the CSU men’s and women’s swim teams placed second in the Horizon League Championship, ending another successful year for both squads.
While there were many swimmers who took strides this season, junior Joanna Olsson took the year by storm. Not only did the former Horizon League Swimmer of the Week break CSU records in the women’s 200 breast, 200 butterfly, and 200 IM, but set new Horizon League records this year as well. With a time of 4:19.57, Olsson set a new Horizon League record in the women’s 400 IM.
She was also part of three Viking team relays that set school records in the women’s 400 Free Relay, 800 Free Relay, and the 400 Medley Relay.
For the men’s swim team, freshman Nathan Grant played a big role and part of the team’s success in just his first season. Grant not only was part of the 400 Free Relay team that broke a school record, but led CSU in several events, including the 50, 100, and 200 breast, and the 200 free.
With Grant only being a freshman, the sky is essentially the limit on what he can do for his team in the years ahead.