BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Augustana’s Abby Hora and Sioux Falls’ J.J. Cooney are among the 32 student-athletes named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Male and Female Honor Student-Athletes of the Year, according to an announcement Thursday by the league office.
The NSIC member institutions nominated one male and one female student-athlete for the prestigious Britton and Kelly Awards, which is considered the top student-athlete honor by the league. All 32 student-athletes nominated become NSIC Honor Student-Athletes of the Year with two being selected as Britton and Kelly award recipients. Those honorees, as announced by the NSIC office, included Alex Goettl of Minnesota State, Mankato, who received the 2019 Dr. William Britton Scholar-Athlete; and Maggie Knier of Minnesota State, Mankato who earned the 2019 Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award.
A native of Pickstown, Cooney competed in six events in 2019-20 and totaled 13 rounds of golf. Cooney, who ranked fifth in the NSIC with a 73.54 round average, carded a best round of 69 which came in the second round of play at the Watkins Invitational, as he won the competition in a playoff while recording a program-best two-round total of 140 (71-69).
Cooney earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurial Studies this May and will be enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program this fall as he will complete his final year of athletic competition at USF. The standout golfer had three top-10 finishes in 2019-20 and now has 16 top-10 finishes in his career with five top-five finishes and an individual title. Twice, Cooney led USF to eighth place finishes at the NSIC Championships with a fifth place team finish in 2018-19. Due to the end of the spring sport season due to the COVID-19, USF did not participate in a championship this spring. In his career, he has made 5,454 shots in 73 rounds for a 74.71 career stroke average.
A three-time All-NSIC selection, Cooney finished with four rounds at or under par which was the best on the squad. Cooney is also a three-time Academic All-NSIC selection who received the NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award for a GPA of 3.75 or higher. The son of Tom and Deb Cooney, JJ was also named the Vucurevich School of Business Outstanding Entrepreneurial Studies Senior during the Spirit of Excellence presentation.
Hora, hailing from Viborg, is a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree with her 3.99 GPA in nursing while also earning Academic All-NSIC accolades. On the basketball court, she was a Second Team All-NSIC selection while starting all 28 games. She averaged a team-high 12 points per contest and scored a career-high 27 points on Feb. 15 against Concordia-St. Paul.
She completed her career with 946 points and 339 rebounds while playing in 118 games.