WAYNE – With incoming recruits taking up recent news for the Wayne State College women’s and men’s track & field teams, current student-athletes received academic accolades.
According to a release from the Wayne State Athletics office, this marks the 16th straight year for the Wildcat women earning the team award and 12th consecutive season that the men’s team earned All-Academic honors from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
To qualify for the team academic award, an institution must record a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher while individuals must maintain a 3.25 grade point average and have achieved a provisional or automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships in either indoor or outdoor seasons.
Five individuals along with the Wayne State College women’s track and field team received academic accolades with a cumulative grade point average of 3.568 (22nd in NCAA Division II). Nicole Heeren, Kendra Paasch, Sarah Stang, Kenzie Sullivan and Jadin Wagner each received individual All-Academic honors.
Heeren, a sophomore from Allison, Iowa (North Butler HS), recorded a 3.81 grade point average majoring in life science and biology. She was an All-NSIC finisher in the hammer throw during the outdoor season, placing third with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 181’ 5 ¼”.
Paasch, a sophomore from West Point (West Point-Beemer HS), maintained a 3.67 grade point average majoring in life science and biology. She placed seventh in the shot put at the NSIC Outdoor Championships (44’ 7 ½”) and recorded an NCAA provisional mark in the discus during the outdoor season.
Stang, a junior from Herman (Tekamah-Herman HS), posted a 3.91 grade point average in business administration/management and human resources. Stang recorded an NCAA provisional mark in the hammer throw, 173’ 11” at the UNK Challenge on April 3, during the outdoor season.
Sullivan, a junior from Laurens, Iowa (Laurens-Marathon HS), produced a 3.90 grade point average majoring in business administration and marketing. She medaled at four events in the NSIC Championships this season while achieving several NCAA provisional marks, placing sixth in the shot put (44’ 6”) and eighth in the weight throw (54’ 9 ¼”) during the indoor season and seventh in the discus (139’ 11 ½”) and eighth in the shot put (44’ 4 ¾”) at the NSIC Outdoor Championships.
Wagner, a junior from Lawton, Iowa (Lawton-Bronson HS), recorded a 4.00 grade point average majoring in organizational management/sports and recreation at WSC this season. She recorded NCAA provisional marks in three events this season and placed sixth in the weight throw (57’ 9 ½”) during the NSIC Indoor Championships and was eighth in the hammer throw during the outdoor season while also qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships.
On the men’s side, seniors Ben Allen, Cade Kalkowski and Dylan Kaup along with freshman Dylan Kneifl were individuals honored. The Wildcat men collected the All-Academic Team award with a 3.321 cumulative grade point average that ranked 22nd in NCAA Division II.
Allen, a senior from Ainsworth (Ainsworth HS), maintained a 3.35 grade point average majoring in business administration and marketing. He was an All-NSIC selection during the indoor season, placing third in the shot put (52’ 3 ¾”), followed by another All-NSIC performance in the outdoor season taking third at 55’ 7” while also setting a new school record during the outdoor season at 56’ 1 ¼” at the UNK Central Nebraska Challenge.
Kalkowski, a senior from Niobrara (Niobrara HS), earned USTFCCA All-Academic honors for a third straight season while posting a 3.48 grade point average majoring in agri-business. He won the NSIC hammer throw title for a third straight year during the outdoor season, qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Nationals for a third straight season. During the indoor season, Kalkowski was All-NSIC placing second in the weight throw and qualified for the NCAA Indoor Nationals for a third straight year.
Kaup collected USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for a fourth straight season. The senior thrower from Neligh (Neligh-Oakdale HS) carried a 3.90 grade point average majoring in school administration 7-12 and was an All-NSIC selection in the hammer throw placing third at 187’ 1”.
Kneifl, a freshman from Wisner (Wisner-Pilger HS), had a 3.53 grade point average majoring in industrial technology. He had an NCAA provisional mark during the indoor season in high jump and placed fourth at the NSIC Indoor Championships (6’ 6 ¾”) while taking eighth in the outdoor season at 6’ 2 ¾”.
The cross country season will make a return this fall beginning with a Friday, September 3 Augustana Twilight Invite at 8:30/9 p.m. from Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.