Congratulations to Laura Big Crow, Heidi Brunko, and Jennifer Ostapowich, the newest inductees into the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame!
Laura Big Crow
Laura Big Crow, Pine Ridge, S.D., played basketball at Mayville State from 2006 until 2008, after transferring from Williston (N.D.) State College. Laura scored 1,029 points for the Comets during her two-year career at MSU. She was a two-time honorable mention NAIA All-American, as well as a two-time All-DAC player. She grabbed 410 rebounds for the Comets and averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, helping to guide the Comets to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in nearly a decade. In her junior year, she played a big part in the Comets’ #8 national ranking. As a senior, Big Crow helped lead the team to the Dakota Athletic Conference championship game. Laura graduated from Mayville State in 2009 earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a coaching minor.
Laura served as head girls basketball coach at Pine Ridge High School for 11 years, inking a record of 138 wins and 45 losses. She is in her second year as head girls basketball coach at Lakota Tech High School. is the instructional coach at Lakota Tech High School. Previously, she spent 12 years as a classroom teacher in grades 1, 2, and 5. Big Crow earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Concordia University. She and her significant other, Corey Shangreaux, are the parents of five children.
Heidi Brunko, Bloomington, Minn., was a three-sport athlete at Mayville State from 1998 to 2001, playing volleyball (1998-2000), basketball (1999-2001), and softball (1999-2001). She was a DAC-10 all-conference volleyball player who led the team in blocks (106) and kills (264) in 1998. She was team captain and a varsity letter winner in 2000. She also lettered in basketball and softball and was an all-conference honorable mention in softball. Brunko graduated from Mayville State in 2002 earning a degree in elementary education with minors in coaching and early education.
Heidi was active in coaching roles at May-Port CG, the University of Mary, and Bismarck State College prior to and following her graduation from Mayville State. She is currently an executive administrative assistant at U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, a position she’s held for 11 years. She is married to Julie Schoenecker and continues to play in various leagues in a variety of different sports.
Jennifer Ostapowich, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba Canada, was starting pitcher and also played first base for the Mayville State softball team from 1995 to 1999. By 1997, the Comets had achieved the season-best record in nearly a decade. In 1998, the team was one game shy of making the regionals, and in 1999, the Comets made their first visit to the NDCAC tournament. Jen was named first team all-conference in all four years. She earned All-American Scholar Athlete honors in 1998 and 1999; was the Mayville State Most Valuable Player in 1997, 1998, and 1999; and was team captain for the Comets in 1999. She was named All-Region in 1999. Ostapowich also received the Outstanding Achievement Award for the NDCAC and was the conference most valuable graduating senior in 1999. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a coaching minor from Mayville State in 1999, while simultaneously earning a minor in French from the University of North Dakota.
Ostapowich earned a Master of Science degree in kinesiology from the University of North Dakota in 2004, serving as a graduate assistant and also coaching the University of Minnesota Crookston softball team. She took a position teaching K-12 physical education in Wisconsin and established the “Pitcher Perfect” training facility. She also coached high school softball, basketball, and volleyball. After 18 years of teaching, she retired to concentrate solely on her private pitching business, instructing fastpitch pitchers ages 7-22. She was invited to the Team Canada tryouts in 1999 and was inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in 2015.
Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
The public is invited to join in honoring Big Crow, Brunko, and Ostapowich at the induction ceremony which will take place at a brunch event that will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room.