Joliet, IL – The NCCAA Wheeler Award is handed out each year to a male and female track and field student-athlete that exemplifies the characteristics of excellence on and off the track. The award was established in order to enhance excellence in Christian track and field competition and to perpetuate the Christian philosophy and faith as exemplified through Christ-like track and field participation in NCCAA member institutions. On Saturday, for the first time in Geneva history, one of its student-athletes walked away with this prestigious honor to highlight a trip to the NCCAA national track and field meet for 20 of its student-athletes. Senior Julia Urbanski was awarded the Wheeler Award for women after having been nominated a week ago by head coach Brian Yowler.
Urbanski has shown these amazing qualities to her teammates and classmates throughout her four years at Geneva College. A school record holder in both the 800 meter and 1500 meter events, Urbanski was making her third trip to the NCCAA national meet in track to go along with a pair of cross country national appearances. On the track, Urbanski finished sixth overall in the 800 meter event and fifth in the 1500 meter race as one of Geneva’s highlight holders for the weekend.
On the men's side, Nick Edinger turned in a solid performance with a seventh place finish in the 5000 meter event. Edinger was joined on the men’s side with highlights from Nathan Mansor (10th – 3000 steeplechase), Shaka Sydnor (8th – triple jump) and Kyle Beckhusen (7th – Decathlon). The highest finisher on the men's side went to Dan Dillman, who posted a fourth place finish in the shot put.
Liz Michalak finished seventh in the heptathlon while also securing a top ten finish in the javelin event. Aisha Moore finished eighth overall in the women’s triple jump while teammates Kathryn Regalado and Katherine Michalak finished fourth and sixth respectively in the flight one finals in the shot put.
“We had a very exciting season,” said head coach Brian Yowler. “Our men and women performed very well against the best in the country and I couldn’t be prouder. Julia is a very well deserved recipient of the Wheeler Award and is just one of our student-athletes that represent Geneva College with dignity and class. We are very excited for everyone that competed for our program this year.”
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
A great majority of Geneva students – 70% – complete internships during the course of their study.