Thursday, May 25; Sioux Center, Iowa) Two Dordt College women’s athletes have been named College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District honorees for the 2016-17 cross country/track and field seasons and one men’s runner has earned the honor.  Justine Van Zee (Senior; Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Kelsey Lewis (Junior; Lachine, Michigan) and Sam Wensink (Senior; Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin) were all accorded the honor in voting done by CoSIDA members. 

“The CoSIDA All-District recognition for Kelsey, Justine and Sam is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of these athletes.  I am privileged to coach tremendous student-athletes like this who take their commitment to their sport and teammates very seriously but also take their commitment to their field of study as seriously.  The effort  they put into their athletic and academic endeavors is tremendous and this recognition is a reflection of that.  They’ve been gifted with talents and have made the most of the opportunities presented them,” said Dordt College track and field coach Craig Heynen.

Van Zee and Lewis claim the honor for the second time while Wensink was chosen for the third time. 

Van Zee and Lewis were members of a Dordt cross country team that qualified for the NAIA National Championship in November and placed 11th.  The two were also part of a 4x800 meter relay team that qualified for the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Van Zee also qualified for the 800 meter race individually.

Lewis ran the 800 meters at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships and placed seventh to claim All-American honors.  She is a four-time NAIA/Daktronics Scholar-Athlete and is a eight-time NAIA All-American in track and field.  Lewis has claimed all-GPAC honors 15 times in track and field and once in cross country. Lewis is studying agri-business and has a 3.80 grade point average.

Van Zee placed fifth at the 2016 NAIA National Indoor Track and Field championships in the 1,000 meters and is a seven-time NAIA All-American in track and field and has earned All-GPAC status 19 times in track and field and twice in cross country.  She’s a four-time NAIA/Daktronics Scholar-Athlete and is studying exercise science and has a 3.80 grade point average.

Wensink qualified for the NAIA Outdoor National Track and Field Championship in the 4x800 meters after finishing fourth in the distance medley relay at the NAIA Indoor National Track and Field Championship in March.  Wensink won the GPAC Indoor 800 meters and is a six-time NAIA All-American in track and field and has claimed all-GPAC honors in cross country 15 times and once in cross country.  He has earned NAIA/Daktronics Scholar-Athlete honors four times.  Wensink is studying accounting and finance and has a 3.90 grade point average.  Wensink was a second-team Academic All-American selection as a sophomore and a first-team Academic All-American pick as a junior.

“We are pleased these three athletes have been recognized for their work and accomplishments in the classroom, on the cross country course, and on the track We believe students can excel in both the classroom and in competition and push them to do just that.   For Sam, it is incredible to receive the honor in three straight years.  For Justine and Kelsey this recognition builds on the same award they won last season.  To do it once is a notable accomplishment.  To repeatedly be recognized for their work is speaks volumes for how they are viewed by competitive institutions. We celebrate with these athletes knowing there are others in our programs that have excelled this season as well.  It’s a joy to work with individuals like this on a daily basis,” said Dordt College cross country coach Nate Wolf.