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Eden Liebenthal

Age: 

22


Hails From: 

Omaha, NE, currently living in Sioux Falls, SD


Job that Pays the Bills: 

Community health worker at South Dakota Voices for peace, a nonprofit committed to building power and enabling healing in immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities in South Dakota


Rugby Life:

  • University of South Dakota (Runner-up NCR Small College 7's National Championship, Captain and President)

  • Prairie States Select side (Winner NSCRO All Star Championships. Tournament MVP, and All Tournament Team)

  • NSCRO Select Side

  • NCR 7's Select Side

  • Prairie States Team (Competed at the NCR All Star Championships, selected for the All Tournament Team)

  • NCR Collegiate All American

  • NCR Small College 7's National Championship (All Tournament Team)

  • NCR Academic All American (4.0 GPA)


Leading Like a Boss:

  • Currently an assistant coach with University of South Dakota (125 mile round trip to practice and has not missed a day)

  • USD Presidential Leaders Academy


Why We Love Eden:

Eden is an incredible leader. In 2020 she broke her ankle in several places needing a plate and screws, and extensive rehab, she continued as club President during her rehab. As President and Captain, she ensured the team flourished during the pandemic, with distanced practices, virtual social gatherings, and individual fitness goals, as a result, USD won the NCR Virtual National Championship.


In 2021-22, USD lost their only game in the final of the 7's National Championship, on a try in sudden death overtime. This was the last game of her college career and for a few seconds you could see the impact it had on her,  but she immediately rallied her team to her and poured out why she was so proud of them and their accomplishments. The team went from the despair of losing a final they could have won, to celebrating that they were going home with medals and a runners-up trophy.

All photos provided by the award recipient

Photo Credit: Bodey Behrends; USD Club Sports

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