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December 10, 2009

2009 Season - Westemeyer is finalist for Gagliardi Award

The list of awards won by Augustana’s Blaine Westemeyer (Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kansas) continues to grow. He has now been named one of four finalists for the 2009 Gagliardi Award, which is given annually by the Jostens Company. The Gagliardi Award recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service. Westemeyer was the winner of the North Region.

The national winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 15 and the recipient will be presented with the trophy on Thursday, December 17 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia. The Gagliardi Award will be given in conjunction with the festivities leading up to the NCAA Division III Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, December 19 in Salem.

Westemeyer learned about his latest honor less than a day after flying back from New York where he was one of just 16 players in the nation (and one of two in NCAA Division III) to receive a National Football Foundation postgraduate scholarship. That banquet was held on Tuesday, December 8 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Last week he was honored as the Jack Swartz Award winner in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. It is the third straight year that he has earned the prestigious award. At the end of November he was named to the ESPN – The Magazine Academic All-American team by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Westemeyer repeated his first team selection of 2008 and the announcement came in the same week that he was named first team all-conference in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin for the third straight time.

A four year starter at offensive tackle, Westemeyer was a big reason why the Vikings consistently ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division III in rushing offense during his first three years. This year Augustana threw the ball quite a bit more and Westemeyer was a big factor as sophomore quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) erased the legendary Ken Anderson, former NFL MVP, from the school record books twice. He also shared the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player award with Lee.

Westemeyer, who has been nominated for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, was an all-North Region selection in 2008 and was named to the NCAA Division III All-American team by the American Football Coaches Association both as a junior and again this year. He was also a consensus pre-season All-American.

Four times he has been an academic all-conference pick and he was the winner of the Jack Swartz Award in the CCIW in 2008. A team captain in 2009, he helped the Vikings finish the season with a 6-4 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the CCIW, good for third place.

Westemeyer is a biochemistry/pre-medicine major with a sterling grade point average of 3.94. He is the son of Brian and Nancy Westemeyer of Overland Park, Kansas. He was the Vikings freshman offensive MVP in 2006. Westemeyer is an active member of the Student Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) and Athletes-Giving-Back (A.G.B.).