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Fulton, Kelly and Grob Selected as "Ryder Athletes of the Year"

Fulton, Kelly and Grob Selected as "Ryder Athletes of the Year"

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University athletic department has selected three Cardinal Athletes; Jade Fulton (Byron, Mich.), Nate Kelly (Suttons Bay, Mich.) and Tyler Grob (Pickney, Mich.), as the 2010-11 recipients of the "Ryder Athlete of Year" Award.  

The "Ryder Athlete of the Year" award is the most prestigious Cardinal athletic award.  During his tenure, former SVSU president, Dr. Jack M. Ryder and his wife, Lila, were the Cardinals' No. 1 and No. 2 fans.  Their support and contributions to the SVSU athletic program are recognized on an annual basis with the presentation of the "Ryder Athlete of the Year" award, which is presented to the top male and female Cardinal athletes.
All three of the athletes garnered Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) "Athlete of the Year" honors for the spring 2011 season.  Senior pitcher Jade Fulton was named the 2011 GLIAC "Pitcher of the Year", men's golfer Nate Kelly was named the 2011 GLIAC Men's Golf "Athlete of the Year" and sophomore men's track & field athlete Tyler Grob was selected as the Co-Field "Athlete of the Year" at the 2011 GLIAC Outdoor Championships.

Fulton was once again spectacular in the circle for the Cardinals in 2011.  For the season, she pitched 282 innings, picking-up 31 wins compared to just 11 losses and five saves.  She recorded a GLIAC single-season record 426 strikeouts, which ranked her second in the nation overall, and had a 1.19 ERA.  She was named the 2011 GLIAC "Pitcher of the Year", NFCA and Daktronics, Inc. First Team All-Midwest Region and also garnered Honorable Mention All-America Daktronics, Inc. accolades.  Fulton finished her SVSU career with a 71 and 21 overall record and 19 saves, ranking her third all-time in wins and first all-time in saves.  Her 907 career strikeouts also ranks her first all-time in SVSU history, 391 K's ahead of the next closet player.

Kelly posted a 72.25 stroke average and four top-five finishes.  Included in those top-five finishes are individual medalist honors at the Lake Superior State University Invitational and the Kyle Ryman Invitational.  Kelly, an All-GLIAC Second Team selection in 2010 with a 73.60 average, had a runner-up finish at the Lake Erie Invitational and a third-place showing at the Arendsen Invitational.  He finished in a tie for 56th place at the NCAA Division II Midwest/South Central Super Regional, which was held at the Cherry Blossom Golf Course in Georgetown, Ky.
Grob, who is just a sophomore, had a strong season for the track and field team.  He had a first place finish at 2011 GLIAC Indoor Championships in the Heptathlon before finishing 6th in the Nation at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships.  He would carry that momentum into the outdoor season, where he finished first at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships in the decathlon, earning GLIAC Co-Field "Athlete of the Year" honors before claiming a fourth place overall finish at the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships.  Both of his finishes at the NCAA Championships garnered him All-American honors for 2011. 

All three athletes will be recognized at halftime of a football game in the fall.