Scottsbluff wrestler wins CSG award

Lincoln-A fencer and a diver/triathlete from Omaha, a Taekwondo master from Hastings and a wrestler from Scottsbluff have earned top honors as 2013 Cornhusker State Games Athletes of the Year.

Salem Harsh, a 14 year-old wrestler from Scottsbluff, earned the CSG Youth Athlete of the Year award along with his third straight CSG Wrestling Iron Man Award, five gold medals and one silver. The Harsh family, with brothers Salem, Sebastian, Sabian and their father Jon, has won more than 50 CSG Wrestling medals over the past three years. Salem finished this year's Games with a 13-1 record.


Alex Bucevicius, 25, of Omaha, who earned a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze in fencing, was named the Male Athlete of the Year. Bucevicius, who had participated in Cornhusker State Games Martial Arts as a youth, first tried fencing in 2005 after he and some fellow martial arts students saw it in the State Games.


The Female Athlete of the Year Award goes to two-sport medalist Emily Kluth, 27, also of Omaha. Kluth, who is an Assistant Athletic Director at the College of St. Mary and coaches diving for the Millard Omaha Dive Squad, earned two gold medals in diving and a silver for her age group in triathlon. A native of Columbus, Neb., Kluth was a two-time Division II All-American in diving at the University of South Dakota.


Hastings Taekwondo athlete and instructor Vicki Neiman was selected as the E Lee Todd Senior Athlete of the Year for participants age 55 and over. Nieman earned a silver medal in the forms division, in which she competed with an otherwise all-male field. The 60 year-old has volunteered for the past seven years as a judge and instructor of judges and is well-known among Taekwondo athletes for her positive attitude and good sportsmanship.


CSG Male, Female and Youth Athletes of the Year are nominated for national awards issued by the National Congress of State Games at its annual symposium, set to take place Oct. 21-24 in San Antonio. The E. Lee Todd Senior Athlete of the Year Award is a Nebraska-only honor. Local awards are determined by a selection committee of sports officials and journalists.

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