Calvin Announces Recipients of 2013 Bere’/Tiemersma Awards
Friday, May 17, 2013
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan—Calvin College has announced the 2013 recipients of its highest honors for men’s and women’s athletics: the Beré Memorial Award and the Kay Tiemersma Athletic Award.
Dan Kerr of Petoskey, Michigan, is this year’s Beré Memorial Award winner while the women’s side features co-recipients in Lizzie Kamp of Orland Park, Illinois, and Carissa Verkaik of Holland, Michigan.
The Beré Memorial Award has been presented annually by Calvin since 1951. The Beré honors the top senior male student-athlete, based on athletic ability, scholastic rank, character and leadership, and is selected by the school’s varsity coaches, its athletics administrators and its faculty athletic representatives. It is given in memory of Joe Beré, a Calvin student who was killed in a 1949 auto accident on his way to watch a Calvin basketball game.
This is the 39th year that Calvin has given the Tiemersma award—presented annually to the top senior female student-athlete. The award honors Kay Tiemersma, the first woman physical education teacher in the member schools of the Christian Schools International organization, and a pioneer in women’s sports. Its presentation is based on athletic ability, scholastic standing, and character and leadership. The winner is also selected by the school’s varsity coaches, its athletics administrators and its faculty athletic representatives. This year marks just the fourth time in school history that the Tiemersma Award has featured co-recipients. Other years with co-recipients include 1990 (Amber Blankespoor & Stephanie Rhind), 1993 (Becky Konyndyk and Betsy Wilgenburg) and 2007 (Lisa Winkle and Becky Weima).
A graduate of Petoskey High School, Dan Kerr has been a four-year member of the Calvin men’s cross country and men’s track and field teams. During his time at Calvin, Kerr was a four-time first team All-MIAA selection in cross country, a two-time MIAA MVP in cross country and a two-time All-MIAA selection in track and field.
In addition, he was an NCAA III Cross Country All-American in 2011, finishing 21st at the NCAA III Championships and later garnered All-America accolades in track and field, finishing fifth in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
This past fall, Kerr was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Runner in men’s cross country for the second straight year after taking first place at the MIAA Championships. He then landed a spot on the Great Lakes All-Region team for a third straight year after placing second at the Great Lakes Regional meet. He later finished 46th individually at the NCAA III Championships in a remarkable comeback. Early in the race, Kerr tripped and fell to the back of the pack. Kerr was able to regroup and work his way past nearly 200 runners to finish just out of the top 35 which would have meant a second straight All-America berth. His finish helped Calvin place second as a team in the final team standings. At the conference and regional level, Kerr was a part of four MIAA and four Great Lakes Regional title teams.
In track and field, Kerr was a member of three MIAA championship teams. He was the MIAA champion in the 10,000 meters in both 2011 and 2012. He was a national qualifier for the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2011 and 2012 in the 10,000 meters and also qualified in the 5,000 meters in 2012. He is currently ranked third nationally in the 10,000 meters with a time of 29.39.99 that he recorded at the Hillsdale Gina Relays last month.
In the classroom, Kerr is set to graduate tomorrow with a degree in exercise science. A regular member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll and Calvin Dean’s List, Kerr was a first team Capital One Academic All-American in 2012. Next fall, he plans to attend graduate school at Wake Forest University, pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science.
Kerr is the son of Ken and Nance Kerr.
A graduate of Chicago Christian High School, Lizzie Kamp has been a four-year member of the Calvin women’s volleyball team. She is the second member of her family to receive the Kay Tiemersma Award as her sister Rebecca was Calvin’s Tiemersma Award recipient last spring.
During Lizzie Kamp’s four-year tenure with the Calvin women’s volleyball team, the Knights compiled an overall won-loss record of 126-15 that included three MIAA titles, two regional crowns and one national championship.
As a freshman in 2009, Kamp was named the AVCA Division III Great Lakes Regional Freshman of the Year and was selected to the AVCA Great Lakes All-Region team. She also received AVCA Division III Honorable Mention All-America honors. In 2010, she was a member of the All-MIAA first team, the Great Lakes All-Region team and a Division III All-America honorable mention honoree. She also played a key role on Calvin’s team that captured the 2010 NCAA III National Championship.
In 2011, she helped Calvin reached the Great Lakes Regional finals for the second straight year. She was named to the All-MIAA first team, the Great Lakes All-Region team and to the AVCA Division III All-America second team. In addition, she was named a second team Capital One Academic All-American.
As a senior this fall, she was a captain on a Calvin team that advanced all the way to the NCAA III Championship finals. She was again a first team All-MIAA selection and the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player. She was then named to the AVCA Division III Great Lakes All-Region team and was later named to the AVCA Division III All-America first team. She culminated the season by receiving AVCA Division III National Player of the Year honors, becoming the second member of her family to receive the prestigious honor. Her older sister Rebecca received the same award in 2011. At the NCAA III Finals at Hope College, Lizzie was named to the all-tournament team.
In addition, she was later named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team and was named the Division III Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in women’s volleyball – again, joining her older sister Rebecca who received the same honors in 2011.
Lizzie Kamp is majoring in accounting and will return to complete her degree requirements next fall. This summer, she will serve as an intern with the accounting firm Plante Moran in Chicago. Next fall, she will also serve as a student assistant coach with the Calvin women’s volleyball team.
Lizzie Kamp is the daughter of Burt and Lori Kamp.
A graduate of Holland Christian High School, Carissa Verkaik has been a four-year member of the Calvin women’s basketball and women’s track and field teams.
During her four years at Calvin, Verkaik has been a member of three MIAA championship teams in women’s basketball and four in women’s track and field team. Over the course of her four-year Calvin women’s basketball career, the Knights produced a won-loss record of 100-16. During that run, Calvin captured MIAA regular season titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Knights also advanced to the NCAA III Tournament four consecutive years (2010-2013) which included a trip to the national quarterfinals in 2012.
Verkaik was a four-time first team All-MIAA selection in women’s basketball – one of only three in MIAA women’s basketball history to do so. She was also named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player four consecutive years, becoming the first in MIAA women’s basketball history to accomplish the feat. She finished her career as the MIAA’s career scoring leader with 1,219 points in conference games. As a freshman in 2010, she established an MIAA single-game scoring record with 46 points in a win over Adrian.
In overall games, she concluded her Calvin career as the school’s all-time leader in points (2,236), rebounds (1,071) and blocked shots (440). She is now currently ranked third on the all-time NCAA III women’s basketball list in blocked shots and is 14th on the career list in points.
She was a four-time D3hoops.com All-American and was the D3hoops.com Freshman of the Year in 2010 and the D3hoops.com Player of the Year in 2013. In addition, she was named the National Player of the Year by Women’s Division III News in both 2012 and 2013 and was a finalist for the State Farm Division III National Player of the Year award in 2012 and 2013. She was named a State Farm Division III All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in both 2012 and 2013. She was later named the recipient of the prestigious Jostens Trophy for women’s basketball which honors individuals for achievements in athletics, academics and in the community.
In track and field, Verkaik has been a three-time MIAA champion in the high jump and a three-time All-MIAA selection. She has also qualified for the NCAA III Championships twice in the high jump.
This past Monday night, she was honored as the Michigan Female College Athlete of the Year by the Detroit Athletic Club.
Verkaik will graduate from Calvin tomorrow with a degree in education. She has been a consistent member of the Calvin Dean’s List and the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. In 2012, she was named to the Capital One Academic All-America third team in women’s basketball. This past March, she was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team in women’s basketball and was subsequently named the Division III Capital One Academic All-American of the Year. Verkaik is currently pursuing a career in education and may also seek a position in coaching.
Carissa Verkaik is the daughter of Mike and Dawn Verkaik.