Wittingen and Koster Named to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Teams
Friday, June 19, 2009
For the third consecutive year, recent Calvin College graduate Sarah Wittingen has been named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American. Meanwhile, Calvin junior Jessica Koster has received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America accolades for the first time. Both Calvin student-athletes were named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America first team in the women’s track and field/cross country college division.
Wittingen and Koster were part of a strong MIAA contingent on the first team as Hope graduate Nora Kuiper was not only named to the first team but also was named the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year.
Wittingen and Koster are part of a group of 15 individuals named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America first team in the college division. The college division includes NCAA II, NCAA III and NAIA institutions. The ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America teams are selected by the College Sports Information Director’sAssociation of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a starter or a key reserve with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30.
A native of East Grand Rapids and a graduate of East Grand Rapids High School, Wittingen participated on Calvin’s indoor track and field team this winter and ran on the school’s All-America 4x400 meter relay team that placed third at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships. The All-America berth was the 11th of Wittingen’s collegiate career, joining the 10 All-America citations she received in outdoor track and field. As an outdoor track and field athlete, Wittingen was a three-time All-American in the 400 meter hurdles including the 2008 national champion in the event with a school record time of .59.36.
Wittingen was recently graduated from Calvin while majoring in accounting. While a student, she carried a 3.99 grade point average. Wittingen was a second team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America in 2007 and a first team selection in 2008.
Koster hails from Grand Rapids and is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School. A psychology major with plans to go into the field of occupational therapy, Koster holds a 3.96 grade point average.
A two-time All-MIAA selection in cross country and in track and field, Koster was the MIAA champion in the 10,000 meters this spring in track and field. She was also the 2008 MIAA champion in the 5,000 meter run. She qualified for the 2009 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 5,00 meters and earned All-America accolades, placing fifth.
In cross country, Koster has been a member of Calvin’s top seven at the 2007 and 2008 NCAA III Cross Country Championships, helping Calvin earn a national runner-up finish in 2008 and a fourth place finish in 2007.
Calvin has now had its athletes receive ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America accolades 80 times including 49 times in the last 11 years. Calvin finished the 2008-09 academic year with four ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans as women’s swimmer Cara Van Woerkom was a second team selection as was men’s track and field cross country runner Erik Van Kampen. All-Time Calvin Academic All-America List
In a study released by the College Sports Information Director’s Association of America last summer, Calvin was ranked eighth all-time among NCAA III institutions for total Academic All-Americans including seventh across all divisions (NCAA I, II and III) during the decade of the 2000’s.