With the 2011-12 athletic year recently coming to a close, we are excited to present several award winners as voted on by you: the fan. Thank you for your participation and for your support of Maple Leaf Athletics.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Jake GunderKline
A junior from Yellow Springs, Ohio, Jake GunderKline continued his assault on the Goshen College track and field record book in 2011-12.
During the indoor season, GunderKline broke his own school record in the 3k race walk on three different occasions (in just four tries). In total, he chopped more than a minute off the mark, dropping it down to 13:06.03 with an All-American finish at the NAIA Indoor National Championships (his first career indoor All-American nod).
The outdoor season was equally as impressive. He broke his own 5k record twice to set a new school mark of 22:57.24. After entering the national field in fifth, GunderKline raced to a fourth-place finish at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships to earn his second-straight outdoor All-American honor and third overall.
Also a key member of the Maple Leaf cross country team, GunderKline finished in the top seven Goshen runners in all seven events. He finished 17th overall (just two spots out of All MCC honors) at the Mid-Central College Conference Championships helping the Leafs get within four points of a conference title.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Jaime Stack
A dual-sport threat, Jaime Stack had one of the best first-year seasons ever for a Maple Leaf. The Fairfield High School (Goshen, Ind.) product spent the fall as a starter on the volleyball team before making an immediate impact on the basketball floor.
A 5-foot-8 forward, Stack led the Maple Leafs in scoring (10.2 per game) and rebounding (6.2). She scored 10 or more points in 16 of her 25 games, including 10 of her last 11 and 12 of 18 MCC contests. In those conference games, she averaged 10.9 points, good for 15th (tops among freshman) in the league.
Stack was ranked third in the MCC in double-doubles (five), seventh in rebounding, and 12th in free throw percentage (.748) and was picked to the All-Freshman Team.
Prior to role on the basketball floor, Stack was part of a trio of first-year volleyball players who tallied 200 or more kills. Her 211 was third on the team, while she was also among the team leaders in aces (23) and digs (222).
TOP SINGLE PERFORMANCE - Jordan Smeltzer (Cross Country MCC Championships)
Freshman Jordan Smeltzer (New Paris, Ind./ Fairfield High School) finished in the top 10 overall in all but one event during 2011-12. None was bigger than his performance at the Mid-Central College Conference Championships.
Smeltzer finished seventh overall in 25:37.6, shattering his own personal best by more than 30 seconds and putting him atop the program's list of all-time best freshman times. His placing was plenty good enough to earn him All-MCC honors as well as a qualifying spot in the NAIA Cross Country National Championships.
It was also a big part of the Maple Leafs tallying just 55 points, just four points away from the program's first conference title since 1980.