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April 22, 2013

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: Northridge grad earns top honor

GOSHEN — Thomas Gingrich has been named the senior male athlete of the year at Bluffton University.

The Northridge High School graduate, who is an Academic All-American in football, received the A.C. Burcky Award while Maddie Moore of Linn Grove, Indiana, received the Kathryn E. Little Award as the top female athlete of the year. Moore is a standout at Bluffton in women’s soccer and track and field.

Both are majoring in biology and pre-medicine.

Gingrich had a 3.89 grade point average. He was named a second-team Academic All-American last fall by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He became the first Bluffton football player to be honored as an Academic All-American in the 91-year history of the program and the third Bluffton athlete to be so recognized in any sport.

As a junior, Gingrich received first-team Academic All-District honors—a first for Bluffton football since 2002. In addition, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) named him Academic All-Conference three times—the maximum number of years the award may be earned. He is president of the Science Club and a tutor and lab assistant in the science department on campus.

A four-year starter on the field, Gingrich was a first-team All-HCAC offensive lineman in 2012 while helping the football team to a 5-3 conference record and an overall mark of 6-4 — Bluffton’s best since 2000. The Beavers’ 10 conference wins over the last two years are the most in a two-year period since Bluffton joined the HCAC in 1998.

The 2012 team’s offense was Bluffton’s best in rushing since 2005, in passing since 2000 and in yards per game since 2003.

“We would have not been able to make the strides we made without Thomas,” said head football coach Tyson Veidt in a school press release. “It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Thomas because he is a guy who is superb at everything he does.”

Gingrich is the son of Jud and Rita Gingrich. He is a member of Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen.

The Burcky Award is named for the late professor of physical education and coach who served Bluffton from 1922-68. He was inducted into the NAIA Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and, in 1970, the A.C. Burcky addition to Founders Hall was dedicated in his honor. Burcky died in 1989 at age 93.

Men’s Golf

Bethel College senior Brady Klotz  (NorthWood) has been named the NAIA National Men’s Golfer of the Week for the period from April 8 to 14. Klotz led Bethel to back-to-back tournament victories for the week with a second-place finish at the BC Spring Sprint in Granger on April 8 and an individual crown at the Pilot Invitational in South Bend on April 13. At the BC Spring Sprint, which is a 36-hole tournament played in one day, Klotz carded a 74-75—149 to finish three strokes off the lead and second out of 38 golfers. He continued his stellar play at the Pilot Invitational, recording a second round 2-under par 70 to help the Pilots overcome a three-hole deficit and win the team and his first individual title of the season. He finished with a score of 73-70—143 for the event.

Women’s Track

Goshen College senior Alita Yoder (Bethany Christian) qualified for the NAIA National Championships in the marathon. It will be the 13th time in the last 14 years a Maple Leaf has competed in the event. Yoder hit the automatic qualifying standard for the championships with a time of 3:30.59 at the 2013 Carmel Marathon. She placed 16th overall among 264 females running the full 26.2 miles.

Indiana Tech freshman Jeslyn Zimmerly (Westview) finished 18th in pole vault (11-9 3/4) in the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Columbus, Ohio.

Men’s Track

Purdue University sophomore Tyler Wynn (Goshen) placed 14th in the open 1,500 meters (3:51.30) at the Mt. Sac Relays in Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Walnut, California.

Purdue freshman Dillon Hinen (Fairfield) won the 800 meters (1:54.35) and freshman Kevin Handshoe (West Noble) finished fourth in the 1,500 (3:59.01) in the Dave Rankin Meet at west Lafayette.

Goshen College sophomore Jordan Smeltzer (Fairfield) was the fifth overall finisher in the half marathon in a time of 1:17.11 in Carmel. His time is just two minutes off the qualifying mark required for half marathons at the NAIA National Championships..

Softball

The Goshen College Maple Leafs were swept by Saint Francis in a Crossroads League twin bill. Scores were 15-5 and 4-3. Freshman Brittany Wingard (Northridge) belted a two-run homer and sophomore Melanie Meyer (Concord) stroked a run-scoring for Goshen in the opener. Meyer had a home run, double and three RBI in the nightcap.

The Bethel College Pilots came up on the short end of 3-2 and 3-0 games to Grace College in a Crossroads League doubleheader. Sophomore Natalie Newell (Goshen) pitched for the Pilots in the opener. She went six innings, giving up four hits and three runs to go with 13 strikeouts and two walks. She also singled twice for the Bethel offense.

Baseball

Junior Kyle Revella (Elkhart Christian) had three singles, an RBI and a run and sophomore Mike Reiner (Jimtown) a run for the Bethel Pilots in an 8-2 win over Grace College in the first game of a Crossroads League doubleheader. Grace posted a 4-1 win in the second game.

Huntington College senior Adam Christner (Westview) slapped a single in both games as the Foresters defeated Goshen College, 9-0 and 3-2, in a Crossroads League twin bill. Goshen College senior Spencer Oversen (Goshen) pitched five innings in the second contest, allowing two hits and three runs (two earned). He walked two and struck out two. Junior Arick Armington (Elkhart Christian) singled in the opener and rive in a run in the nightcap for the Maple Leafs.

Women’s Tennis

The Bethel Pilots traveled to Bourbonnais, Illinois, to battle the Olivet Nazarene University Lady Tigers in the NCCAA North Central Regional Championship match. The Pilots, ranked No. 9 in the latest NCCAA women’s tennis poll, dropped the match to ONU (No. 14 NAIA / No, 7 NCCAA) by the score of 9-0. The loss leaves the Lady Pilots with a record of 12-7 for the season. Junior Melissa Ramer (NorthWood) dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision at No. 4 singles, junior Morgan McFarren (Westview) a 6-2, 6-2 decision at No. 5 singles, Ramer and senior Jill Focht (NorthWood) an 8-4 decision at No. 3 doubles.

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

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