The University of Northern Iowa athletic department has honored four Panthers as the Student-Athletes of the Month for April.
Phoebe Walker (Adelaide, Australia/Marryatville HS), Paige Knodle (Byron, Ill./Byron HS), Daniel Gooris (Albuquerque, N.M./Cibola HS) and Jordan Williams (Monticello, Iowa/Monticello HS) were selected as the student-athletes of the month by the UNI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Phoebe Walker - Women's Tennis
Phoebe Walker was named the MVC Women's Tennis Player of the Year. Walker posted a singles' mark of 6-1 in the month of April, which included a win over the MVC Fall Singles' champion Melanie Delsart (Southern Illinois) in a dual match. Walker also posted a doubles' record of 5-2 as she teamed up with Krissy Lankelma. Walker ended her Panther career with a school-record tying 83 doubles victories.
Paige Knodle - Women's Track & Field
Paige Knodle finished the second day of the heptathlon at the Drake Relays, moving up four spots from the first day of competition to place third overall in a competitive field featuring two Olympians. Knodle bested her finish from last season’s Drake Relays where she finished fifth as a freshman.Knodle opened the day with an impressive performance in the long jump, placing third with a jump of 17-11.00. In the javelin throw, the sophomore threw for a distance of 141-11.00 and picked up another third place finish. To round out the day, Knodle scored a big personal record in the 800 and won the event with a time of 2:12.44. Knodle finished with 5,312 total points for her best finish in the heptathlon this season. The sophomore came away with a big win in the 100 meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 14.17 into a strong head wind. Knodle also finished first in the 200 meter portion of the heptathlon, crossing the finish line with a time of personal-best time of 24.81. In the high jump, Knodle finished with a season-best height of 4-11.50. Knodle also set the school record in the javelin this month at the Joey Haines Invite, throwing for a personal-best distance of 149-10.
Daniel Gooris - Men's Track & Field
Senior Daniel Gooris became just the second decathlete in Drake Relays history to win back-to-back decathlon titles after Gooris finished with 7,395 total points today. Gooris was just 17 points behind the leader with one event to go, scoring a new personal-best time of 4:28.06 in the 1,500 meters to clinch the win. Seven of the past 10 Drake Relays decathlon crowns have now gone to athletes with UNI ties. Former UNI head coach and student-athlete Travis Geopfert won the title in 2004 and 2006, former Panther All-American Raven Cepeda won the event in 2007, and former All-American Mat Clark owns the 2009 and 2011 titles. Along with his win in the 1,500 meters, Gooris also won the pole vault and place second in the discus throw. The senior threw for a strong distance of 135-02 in the discus competition and finished with a solid height of 16-08.85 in the pole vault. In the javelin, Gooris placed fourth with a throw of 171-01 to put himself in striking range of the title.
Jordan Williams - Men's Track & Field
Senior throws specialist Jordan Williams remains undefeated in the discus throw this season after picking up another win and the Drake Relays crown in the discus today. The senior threw for a distance of 190-06 marking the second time this season he has thrown over 190 feet and marking the first time that UNI has won a discus title at the Drake Relays since 1979. Williams also threw a huge personal record distance in the hammer throw event. Williams threw for a distance of 196-09, placing him fourth all-time at UNI. The senior won the event four times this month.