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Gustie guard gains more basketball awards

Gustavus women's basketball player Jess Vadnais has been named a finalist for the Josten's Division III Player of the Year Award.

Ten finalists are selected for both men and women, and the winners, based on athletic and academic ability and community service, are announced at the NCAA Division III Final Four for men's basketball in Salem, Va., March 20.

The senior guard also has been named to the All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team. Vadnais, a three-time all-MIAC selection and last year's MIAC player of the year, averaged a league-high 18.7 points, as well as 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.77 steals in 33.6 minutes per game. Vadnais was third in the league in steals (61) and free-throw percentage (85.9 percent), and led her team in steals (80) and ranked second in assists (56).

Vadnais became the all-time Gustavus leading scorer at 1,778 points, surpassing the mark of 1,466 points set by Bri Monahan last year. Vadnais also became the school record-holder in steals at 223, breaking the record of 213 set by Betty Wannarka in 1984, and in three-point field goals with 210. Angie Peterson held the previous record of 176.

Vadnais ranks fourth on the career assists list at 306, and is the only player to compile 1,000 points, 300 assists, and 200 steals during her career. Her free-throw percentage ranks fourth in Division III.

Vadnais was named to both the WBCA and All-America teams last year. A health fitness major with a 3.25 grade point average, Vadnais was named a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine academic all-district selection this season.

In the community, she serves on the Student Athlete Advisory Board, has been involved in Athletes in Action, where student athletes take part in community service projects, and helped organize a basketball clinic for St. Peter area youth.

The Gusties, who finished third in the MIAC regular season standings, lost in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament to conclude the season at 18-10 overall. Vadnais is the daughter of Jeanne (Jerry) Hautala and Mike Vadnais and is a 2004 graduate of Hudson High School.