Carissa Verkaik Named Michigan Female College Athlete of Year by Detroit Athletic Club
Monday, May 06, 2013
Calvin College senior Carissa Verkaik will head to Detroit next week. This afternoon, the two-sport standout was named the recipient of the 2013 Michigan Female College Athlete of the Year by the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC).
A native of Holland and a graduate of Holland Christian High School, Verkaik is the third individual in Calvin athletics history to receive the award. Lisa Winkle (basketball, track & field) was the inaugural DAC Female College Athlete of the Year in 2006 with Becky Weima (swimming) receiving the same honor in 2007.
The honors, recognizing both academic and athletic excellence, will be presented during this year’s 17th Annual DAC Athletic Awards at 7 p.m. on May 13 at the DAC. The event continues the Club’s tradition of supporting athletics in the community and will benefit the Foundation’s mission. A total of six female and six male high school nominees as well as one female and one male college athlete are selected each year.
The awards event will include a strolling hors d’oeuvres reception and conclude with an afterglow of specialty desserts and drinks. Voice of the Detroit Pistons George Blaha will serve as master of ceremonies.
Verkaik is in the final stretch of an illustrious collegiate career at Calvin College. As an athlete, she has been the most decorated female women’s basketball player in Calvin history while also competing in the high jump at a national level in track and field. She concluded her basketball career this past March as Calvin’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots. She was named a first team WBCA Division III All-American for the second straight year and was named the recipient of the prestigious Jostens Trophy.
This past weekend, Verkaik captured the MIAA title in the high jump for the third straight year. She is a two-time national qualifier in the high jump and is bidding for a return trip to the national meet in the event once again later this month.
In the classroom, Verkaik has sparkled as an education major. She was named the Division III Capital One Academic All-American of the Year this past March in women’s basketball and was named a Capital One Academic All-American for the second straight year.
She has also been active in numerous activities in the community. Some of her volunteer activities include serving as a mentor in the Special Olympics program, serving as a tutor with local elementary school children, serving as a praise and worship leader in her church and organizing a middle-school book club group. This spring she has served as a student teacher at Potter’s House Christian School in southwest Grand Rapids.