Doane University senior Marissa DeWispelare was named the Women's Most Outstanding Performer at the NAIA National Championships on Saturday following the conclusion of the meet. The senior was among six GPAC student-athletes to earn indiviudal NAIA National Titles over the past three days at Gulf Shores, Alabama.
DeWispelare, a David City native, won the 3,000m steeplechase for the second straight year as she posted a Doane school record time of 10:23.99. In winning, she out-distanced the field and topped the favorite, national runner-up Leah Esposito of Carroll College, by 23 seconds. Esposito had posted a time two seconds faster than DeWispelare earlier this season which was the fastest time in the NAIA entering the meet.
As her career comes to a close, DeWispelare finishes as a two-time NAIA National Champion (steeplechase), 12 NAIA All-American in cross country and track, and holds six school records (individual and relays). DeWispelare was the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year the past two seasons and was recently named the NAIA Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year by the US Track and Field-Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Adding to her athletic accolades is an impressive academic resume. She was named CoSIDA Academic All-American last year and is up for the honor again this year, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete, and four-time GPAC Scholar-Athlete. DeWispelare was named the NAIA A.O. Duer Award winner this year as well.
(The above information from Rick Schmuecker, Doane Sports Information)
In the team standings Concordia men were 5th, while the Bulldog women were 6th for the highest GPAC team placements.
2016 NAIA Outdoor Track and Feld - GPAC Individual National Champions
Women's Steeplechase - Marissa DeWispelare, Doane
Women's Discus - Teeka Thompson, Hastings
Men's Shot Put - Alex Wellington, Hastings
Men's Hammer Throw - Cody Boellstorff, Concordia
Men's Pole Vault - Lucas Wiechman, Concordia
Women's Shot Put - Sam Liermann, Concordia