Posted: July 22, 2020
AUSTIN, Texas (VIA MTU Athletics) – Senior women’s skier Amanda Kautzer of Michigan Technological University has been named as the 2019-20 Academic All-America® of the Year for Division II, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The Academic All-America® Division II program is financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2019-20 Division II Academic All-America® teams.
A senior biomedical engineering major from Plymouth, Minnesota, owns a 4.00 cumulative grade-point average. She was named to the Academic All-America® team twice and was recognized as the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year this year in the women’s at-large program.
“I really did not understand the magnitude of this award until my conversation with (2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Hall of Fame honoree) Stacey (Dales),” said Kautzer. “I know a lot of other student-athletes at MTU as well as other universities, and know how hard they work and how talented they are. To be recognized as a standout of that group is hard to wrap my head around. To be honest, I did not know that this award existed, as winning recognition has never been my goal as a student-athlete.
“Athletically, I’ve always sought to be the best I can be, so my team can be the best it can be,” added Kautzer. “While I am proud of this accomplishment, I truly believe there needs to be an asterisk next to my name to call attention to all the coaches, teammates, study-buddies, race organizer/volunteers, SIDs, and countless other people who have supported me throughout my last 10 years as a student-athlete. I am beyond thankful to all those people, and hope that I can give back to the community that’s been so good to me.”
Kautzer won the Elite 90 award as a senior, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA skiing championships. She is also an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.
A three-time NCAA skiing championships qualifier, Kautzer was the 2019 Central Regional champion in the classic and placed 17th in the same discipline at the 2019 NCAA championships. She is a three-time All-CCSA selection and a three-time All-Central Region finisher. Kautzer received the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship. She was named to the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence team and the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association All-Academic team three times each.
Kautzer has also performed on the world stage at the 2020 U23 World Ski Championships in Germany. She competed at the Junior World Championships three times (2015-17) as a biathlete.
“Amanda has been the student-athlete every coach dreams about having on their team,” said Michigan Tech Nordic skiing head coach Tom Smith. “She’s delivered an unwavering work ethic, has brought an incredibly professional approach to her balanced lifestyle as a student-athlete, learned to be adaptable and address the areas in her life that have allowed her to achieve her goals.
“She has been an inspirational leader of our team as an exemplary role model,” added Smith. “Amanda has never set a goal too high to achieve because no matter how high the goal she does what it takes to achieve it. We are so proud of the person she’s become, and the path she continues to forge as she begins her new career as a professional athlete all the while continuing her studies for her master’s degree; once again showing all of us that anything is possible. We have truly been honored to have Amanda as a member of our team.”
Kautzer also ran cross country for the Huskies. She raced at the 2019 NCAA championships. She finished one spot outside of All-GLIAC honors at the 2019 league XC meet. Kautzer, who was also named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team, was a captain on both teams. She is only the third Michigan Tech female student-athlete to compete at the NCAA championships in both cross country and Nordic skiing.
The CoSIDA Division I Academic All-America® of the Year award winner will be announced Thursday (July 23). Grace Barry of Concordia (Neb.) University was named the CoSIDA NAIA Academic All-America® of the Year Monday (July 20) while Bebe Wang of Denison University was named the CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America® of the Year Tuesday (July 21).