U-M Student-Athletes Receive NSCA All-American Honors in Weight Room

May 18, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Nineteen University of Michigan student-athletes have been named All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

"The advantages of strength training and conditioning cannot be denied in collegiate and high school athletics," said Alan Kinniburgh, executive director of the NSCA. "These student-athletes attest to this understanding and are to be applauded for their hard work and dedication."

This year, the NSCA awarded the honor to 247 collegiate and high school athletes from 96 schools. The program recognizes collegiate athletes whose athletic accomplishments, in the opinion of the strength coach, reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning. These athletes are also recognized for their academic and personal accomplishments as well as their integrity as student-athletes.

This is the second year that student-athletes from Michigan have received the award.

2011 U-M NSCA All-American Athletes of the Year

Anthony Biondo (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley), 5th/Sr., wrestling
Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini), Jr., softball
Alisha Cole (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac), 5th/Sr., women's track and field
Hannah Dawson (Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional), Jr., field hockey
Luke Glendening (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids), Jr., ice hockey
Kevin Koger (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer), Jr., football
Paige Laytos (Lititz, Pa./Warwick), 5th/Sr., field hockey
Mike Martin (Redford, Mich./Catholic Central), Jr., football
Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf Prep), Jr./So., volleyball
David Molk (Lemont, Ill./Lemont Township), Sr./Jr., football
Adam Patterson (Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast), Sr., football
Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys), Jr., men's track and field
Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), Sr., women's track and field
Rachael Ropeik (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron), Sr./Jr., women's swimming and diving
Stephen Schilling (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), Sr., football
Brandon Sinnery (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy), Jr., baseball
Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep), Jr., men's track and field
Ryan Van Bergen (Whitehall, Mich./Whitehall), Sr./Jr., football
Taylor Voice (Boyne City, Mich./Boyne City), Sr./Jr., men's track and field

Martin, Molk and Schilling are all two-time winners of the award.


Strength Coach Mike Favre on Anthony Biondo ... "Anthony Biondo has continually demonstrated his leadership and commitment to the strength and conditioning program as well as the wrestling program as a whole. His positive attitude, relentless work ethic and adherence to his physical preparation have been instrumental to the numerous personal records he established this past off-season in all areas of strength and conditioning. Anthony's leadership by example was paramount in helping his teammates achieve personal bests within the strength and conditioning program as well. These previously mentioned qualities and achievements have earned Anthony the respect of the coaching staff, his fellow teammates and the athletic department, resulting in his selection as a team captain for the 2010-11 wrestling season."

Former Strength Coach Cassandra Baier on Amanda Chidester ... "Amanda Chidester is an outstanding, well-rounded athlete who is dedicated to reaching her personal goals. Elected team captain as a junior, she enjoys challenges and consistently works hard in the weight room and on the practice field to be a good role model and leader for her team."

Strength Coach Bo Sandoval on Alisha Cole ... "Alisha is a solid competitor who truly understands her training and how it affects her performance. As a senior she leads by example with year-round consistency and intensity that constantly captures the eyes of our rookies. It is my duty and pleasure to nominate Alisha Cole for NSCA All-American."

Strength Coach Lew Porchiazzo III on Hannah Dawson ... "Hannah is a young woman that helped lead the University of Michigan field hockey team to the 2010 regular-season and tournament conference championships. Her dedication to physical preparation over the course of the entire off-season has allowed her to improve her already highly aggressive style of play. Her commitment and belief in a new philosophy of strength and conditioning has been instrumental in her significant strength and endurance improvements. Her actions off the field, in terms of involvement within the community, are reflective of Hannah's kind-heartedness and desire to help others. Hannah's volunteer efforts in visiting Mott's Children's Hospital, as well as her efforts with the "Friends of Jaclyn Foundation," helped the 2009-10 field hockey team earn the distinguished Rachael Townsend Award for Best Community Service. Through all of her success, both on and off the field, Hannah has remained humble and focused, a trait that will allow her to be successful through the remainder of her competitive field hockey career and beyond. It has been a pleasure to help Hannah develop as a student-athlete and an individual. I look forward to helping her continue in that development."

Strength Coach Jim Plocki on Luke Glendening ... "Luke is an extremely hard worker and competitor. He is extremely coachable and tries to better himself daily by outworking his competition. He was elected team captain as a junior and leads by example."

Former Strength Coach Christopher Allen on Kevin Koger ... "Kevin is a born competitor. He comes into the weight room every day with a great work ethic."

Strength Coach Jason Cole on Paige Laytos ... "Paige served as captain of the 2010 regular-season and tournament conference champion University of Michigan field hockey team. In 2008 Paige suffered a season-ending knee injury and suffered an injury to the same knee in 2009 that seriously hindered her abilities to perform on the field. She chose to come back for a fifth year and committed a tremendous amount of time and effort to return to her pre-injury All-American caliber play. Despite a demanding and time-consuming summer internship at a major accounting firm an hour from Ann Arbor, Paige found a way to continue building upon the success she experienced through the spring season. Whether it was training at 6 a.m., 8 p.m. or on Saturdays and Sundays, she understood the importance of strength and conditioning for her on-field performance and embraced the challenge placed upon her. She returned to All-American status in 2010, being named a NFHCA third team All-American. In addition to excelling on the field, Paige has thrived in the classroom, being selected to the NFHCA National Academic Squad in 2009 and receiving multiple Academic All-Big Ten honors. Paige will complete her degree from the prestigious Ross Business School in the spring of 2011. It has been a privilege and honor to help Paige achieve her personal and team goals. Her work ethic and commitment will allow her to be successful well beyond her competitive field hockey career."

Former Strength Coach Mike Barwis on Mike Martin ... "Mike is an animal in the weight room. He is consistently looking for ways to get better. This work ethic has turned him into one of the top defensive linemen in the country."

Strength Coach Mike Favre on Claire McElheny ... "Claire has continually demonstrated her leadership and dedication to the strength and conditioning program as well as the volleyball program as a whole. Her positive attitude and strong work ethic contributed to the numerous personal records established by herself and the team this past off-season in all areas of strength and conditioning. Her unyielding commitment and adherence to her physical preparation, both on and off the court, have been instrumental to her becoming a major contributor to the team's success this season. These previously mentioned qualities and achievements have earned Claire the respect of the coaching staff and her fellow teammates alike."

Former Strength Coach Jesse Miller on David Molk ... "Dave is an extremely hard worker. His commitment to working out has made him one of the top centers in the country."

Former Strength Coach Kentaro Tamura on Adam Patterson ... "Adam possesses great physical ability and a very competitive nature. This combination makes him a force on the D-line."

Strength Coach Lew Porchiazzo III on Robert Peddlar ... "Robert's performance defines 'efficiency.' Robert packs a huge punch in a very small package. A true competitor, Robert prides himself on 'outworking' the other guys. I am very excited to nominate Robert for NSCA All-American."

Strength Coach Emily Enos on Emily Pendleton ... "It is my pleasure to nominate Emily Pendleton for NSCA All-American. Emily leads our throwers, both in the ring as well as in the weight room. Emily is one of the best in the country in the discus and constantly pushes the limits in the weight room. Emily is one of the hardest working female athletes I've ever been around."

Strength Coach Brent Kwiatkowski on Rachael Ropeik ... "Rachael is a truly dedicated athlete and leader. She is a testament to what hard work and dedication in the weight room can do for her sport. Rachael bought into what we were trying to accomplish early and worked diligently throughout the year, and into the off-season, in order to achieve her goals. Watching her lift is impressive, and her attention to detail and commitment to her training is outstanding. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach such a hard working and dedicated athlete."

Former Strength Coach Parker Whiteman on Stephen Schilling ... "Steve has a mindset to get better every day. His work ethic is seen by others and it makes them want to get better."

Strength Coach Jason Cole on Brandon Sinnery ... "Brandon has grown into what we expect out of our athletes at Michigan. He came to us as a 6-4, 149-pound freshman with minimal strength training experience. He realized that at this level of competition it was important for him to improve physically in order to be successful on the mound. He dedicated himself in the weight room during the off-season, giving his best every day. He sets a positive example for his teammates through dedication and hard work. I am proud to nominate Brandon Sinnery as an NSCA All-American and truly believe if he continues to work hard and remains dedicated he will enjoy the success he has worked so hard to achieve."

Strength Coach Bo Sandoval on Joe Strizich ... "Joe is an absolute workhorse! Joe's improved performance across 10 events is pure testimony to his devotion to training. Joe is well trained and well studied. He understands how his strength training is preparing him for competition. One of Joe's best qualities is that if there is a training concept that he does not understand, he will not hesitate to ask. Joe is a true student of the game. I'm very proud to nominate Joe Strizich for NSCA All-American."

Former Strength Coach Dennis Murray on Ryan Van Bergen ... "Ryan is a great kid that consistently works hard and is very disciplined. Every day his attitude is to be better than the day before."

Strength Coach Emily Enos on Taylor Voice ... "It is my pleasure to nominate Taylor Voice for NSCA All-American. Taylor has proven himself as a leader in the weight room on numerous occasions. Taylor is fearless and will not quit on any task. Taylor's hard work and dedication will produce some big heights in the pole vault this year."

Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423