The University of Northern Iowa athletic department has honored four student-athletes as the Student-Athletes of the Month for December. K.K. Armstrong (Women's Basketball - Cedar Rapids, Iowa/C.R. Washington), Jake Koch (Men's Basketball - Ashwaubenon, Wis./Ashwaubenon), Olimpia Nowak (Track & Field - Rawicz, Poland) and Ryan Loder (Wrestling - Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay) were selected by the UNI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Armstrong is a senior guard on the UNI women's basketball team, majoring in criminology.
Armstrong scored at least 11 points in each of the Panthers' first six December games and moved into the UNI career Top 10 in assists and free throws made. She tied her career-high with 26 points at North Dakota on Dec. 17 and played a season-high 36 minutes in UNI's win over preseason MVC favorite Missouri State on Dec. 31.
Koch is a junior forward for the Panther men's basketball squad, majoring in movement & exercise science: sports psychology.
Koch was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 12, following a season-high 21 points in a win over Milwaukee on Dec. 10 and a 13-point, 6-assist, 5-rebound performance in a victory against Iowa. He leads the Panthers in rebounding and ranks second on the team with 10.8 points per game for the season.
A psychology major, Nowak is a senior on the UNI track & field team.
Nowak won the pentathlon with 3,917 points at the Iowa State Holiday Preview on Dec. 9 to take the early national lead in the event. She still holds the top score in all of NCAA Division I as of Jan. 12. Nowak and the rest of the Panthers kick off the first of three home indoor meets on Jan. 14 in the UNI-Dome.
Loder is a sophomore management: business administration major on the Panther wrestling team.
Loder, rated No. 6 at 184 pounds in the latest InterMat rankings, has one of the best records in the nation for a 184-pounder at 22-1. He is also the highest-rated underclassmen in the weight class. Loder took third place in the 184-pound division at the prestigious Midlands Championships on Dec. 30, defeating Purdue's Braden Atwood in the consolation final with a 10-2 major decision.