Thursday, May 11, 2017
The Northwestern College athletic department announced the recipients of its end-of-the-season awards for the 2016-17 school year. These include the Vander Stoep Award, George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award and the Heidi Jeltema Altena Christian Women’s Athlete Award.
Katie Landhuis (Orange City, Iowa) and Sam Van Ginkel (Rock Valley, Iowa) received the prestigious Vander Stoep Award for women’s and men’s athletics.
The Vander Stoep Award takes into consideration attitude and sportsmanship on and off the playing field and comparative contributions made to the success of the team. To be eligible, an athlete must have attended Northwestern College for four consecutive semesters and must also have participated in one or two sports for at least two years, while earning a minimum of two varsity letters in one or more sports.
In her third year with the Red Raider track and field program, Landhuis is already a five-time All-American heading into the outdoor championships later this month. The junior finished as the national runner-up in the 800m at the NAIA indoor championships while also running the anchor leg for the fourth place 4x800 relay in February. Landhuis won the conference title as a member of the 4x800 relay during both indoor and outdoor seasons and earned all-conference in six events this past year. She also ran the final leg of the 4x800 relay that won the Drake Relays, becoming the fourth Northwestern entry to take home a title. Landhuis is an NAIA Scholar-Athlete and is majoring in exercise science with a minor in health and physical education.
A four-year starter at defensive end, Van Ginkel closed his Red Raider career as the GPAC’s and program’s all-time leader with 39.5 sacks. The senior earned All-American honors for the third time last fall and was named all-conference all four years. Van Ginkel earned GPAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and was recently invited to the San Francisco 49ers mini-camp. This past year, Van Ginkel led the GPAC and ranked ninth in the NAIA with 11 sacks this season. The senior was second on the team with 38.5 tackles and totaled a team-high nine quarterback hurries.
Katie Bosch (Ankeny, Iowa) was named the recipient of the Heidi Jeltema Altena Christian Women’s Athlete Award.
The Christian Women’s Award was established in 1982 by the Carl Ver Steeg family, parents of Mary Ver Steeg. Mary was instrumental in the development of varsity women's sports programs at Northwestern College. She coached women's basketball for six years and volleyball for four years. In 2006, the name of the award was changed to the Heidi Jeltema Altena Christian Woman Athlete Award in memory of Heidi, who demonstrated a sincere Christian faith and servant heart as well as being an outstanding athlete at Northwestern College. The winners of this award must demonstrate a lifestyle and conduct that reflects their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ while participating in athletics. They must also demonstrate qualities of leadership on and off the court or field.
Bosch has earned All-American honors three times over the course of her three-year career in track and field and cross country. The junior took home All-American honors in two events at the 2017 NAIA indoor championships, finishing fourth in both the 1000m and 4x800 relay. Bosch recently won the GPAC outdoor championship in the 800m and 4x800 and finished as the runner-up in the 1500m. She also ran the first leg of the 4x800 relay that won the Drake Relays, becoming the fourth Northwestern entry to take home a title. Bosch also earned All-American honors in 2016 as a member of the 4x800 relay during the outdoor season. In cross country, Bosch earned all-conference honors with a sixth place finish at the GPAC championship last fall. She went on to place 61st at the NAIA championship, the best finish by a NW women’s runner in six years.
Tanner Hilbrands (Remsen, Iowa) is this year’s recipient of the George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award.
The George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award was originated in 1968 by Mike Eischeid in memory of his late grandfather. Eischeid was a punter in the Super Bowl for both the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings. To win the honor, one must represent the finest in character and sportsmanship, not only on the athletic field, but off the field, in classroom activities, and in his everyday life and relationship with others. He must do his best at all times, regardless of the job or position he is asked to hold or play.
Consistent with the values described for the recipient of the Dunlop Award, Hilbrands has not just inspired his teammates, but has been a key ingredient in energizing the Red Raider student body in their support of Red Raider basketball. He also has played a key role in the recruitment of student athletes. Hilbrands was part of a men’s basketball team that won the GPAC postseason championship and advanced to play in the NAIA Division II men’s basketball championship.