UAF Nanooks

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dion Knelsen for Lowe's Senior Class Award

As you may, or may not, know senior forward Dion Knelsen is a finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.

The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports. The acronym “CLASS” stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™.

The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award celebrates the loyalty of seniors that honor a four-year commitment to their university. The Senior CLASS Award™ recognizes these student-athletes for great achievement during competition and in their community while staying in school.

Award winners are determined by a selection process that includes, NCAA Division I college coaches in each respective sport, national media, and fans. The voting process determines the winner in addition to a Senior CLASS All-America Team.

Here is a video interview of Dion speaking about the award and what hockey means to him:

You can vote for Dion by voting online and text messaging your vote. You can vote online here and you can also text H5 to 74567 to vote. You are able to vote online once per day and text message one vote for day so make sure you vote every day as the voting process accounts for 33% of the final decision. Here is a breakdown of the selection process.

So go and vote!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rifle NCAA Qualifiers Sunday

The Rifle team will be hosting the NCAA Qualifiers this week and also take on the University of Alabama Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday the events will be shot in the spectator friendly Patty Center gymnasium. The finals on Sunday are set to kick off at 2:00 p.m. so get there early and be ready for some great Alaska Rifle action!

Here is head coach Dan Jordan talking about the NCAA qualifiers:

Make sure you come and support your Nanooks Rifle Team

Friday, February 5, 2010

Knelsen Named Finalist For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Alaska Nanooks senior forward Dion Knelsen (Three Hills, AB, Drumheller (AJHL)) has been named as one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Men's Ice Hockey division of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award™ winner in April at the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four® in Detroit, Michigan.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School (CLASS), the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award encourages student-athletes to use their platform in college athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence.

Finalists were selected from a list of 20 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. The criteria to determine the top 10 included areas of the classroom, character and community in addition to performance on the hockey rink during this season.

The 2009-10 finalists are: Jean-Marc Beaudoin, Quinnipiac University; Cody Chupp, Ferris State University; Matt Fairchild, United States Air Force Academy; Colin Greening, Cornell University; Dion Knelsen, University of Alaska; Martin Nolet, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Garrett Raboin, St. Cloud State University; Rhett Rakhshani, University of Denver; Dan Ringwald, Rochester Institute of Technology; and Eli Vlaisavljevich, Michigan Technological University.

These 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award hockey ballot for a nationwide vote beginning today and concluding March 16. Fan balloting is available on the award’s official Web site,, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text H5 to 74567 to vote for Dion Knelsen. Fan balloting counts for 1/3 of the total with the remaining 2/3 determined by NCAA Division I coaches and national media members.

The hockey finalists have spent almost four years perfecting their game on the ice,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “We commend their pursuit of perfection in the rink but also their emphasis on getting a college degree and preparing for life after their senior year.”

This marks the fourth year for the ice hockey division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Michigan State University goaltender Jeff Lerg received the award for the 2008-09 season and Princeton University center Landis Stankievech took home the 2007-08 honor. In 2006-07, University of Notre Dame goaltender David Brown won the inaugural men’s hockey award.

Knelsen, a business administration major at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is also one of 18 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. He maintains a near perfect 3.984 grade-point average in the classroom and is second on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 23 assists through 26 games this year. Last weekend at Northern Michigan, Knelsen scored his 100th career point becoming just the 28th player in Alaska Hockey history to eclipse the mark.

Off the ice, the four-year letterman has participated in “Nooks for Books” by reading at local elementary schools to young students. He has volunteered with Sports Night at the Denali Center, which is Fairbanks’ assisted living home for senior citizens. Other community efforts include volunteering time with Big Brothers Big Sisters and going to work with Habitat for Humanity. In 2008-09, he was a volunteer with Connie Seekins’ therapeutic riding program that offered handicapped individuals the opportunity to ride horses on a weekly basis. Additionally, he is a sponsor for one child in the Dominican Republic, while also serving as a co-sponsor of a second child along with his teammates.

Knelsen is the third Alaska Nanook to make the list of 10 finalists in the award’s four-years of existence. Former forwards Trevor Hyatt and Curtis Fraser made the cut in 2009 and 2007, respectively. Both players went on to earn Lowe’s All-Senior All-America Second Team honors.

Alaska hosts No. 12 Michigan State this weekend at the Carlson Center. Games are set for 7:05 p.m. Friday and 6:05 p.m. Saturday.

Grace Milliken named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team

Junior forward Grace Milliken (Healy, AK) has been named to the Academic All-District women's basketball second team by ESPN The Magazine, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Milliken, who maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average is a biological science major at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Academic All-District team is comprised of eight different districts with each district having a University Division (D-I schools) and a College Division (D-II, D-III, NAIA, NJCAA).

Milliken was one of 25 student-athletes who accumulated a perfect 4.0 grade-point average among all the districts and divisions, which included 90 total student-athletes.

Milliken appeared in three games this season and scored 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds before an injury sidelined her for the rest of the season.

In her career at Alaska Milliken has appeared in 26 games, averaging 3.5 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game. Milliken is a graduate of Tri-Valley High School where she averaged 17.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game in her senior season.

Milliken is the first women’s basketball player to garner Academic All-District honors since Jennifer (Lin) Benson was named an Academic All-American in 1989.

The 2009-10 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District women’s basketball teams were selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The first-team members will now move to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. The All-America teams are scheduled to be released Tuesday, February 23.

The District VIII College Division consists of all NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA colleges and universities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and British of Columbia. To be nominated for the Academic All-America program, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore with a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average and a starter or significant reserve on her team.

For a complete ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District women’s basketball teams, please click here.