SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. – The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Department of Intercollegiate Athletes was proud to announce this year's 2019 Student-Athlete of the Year at tonight's Athletic Banquet. The accolade aims to honor and pay recognition to one high-quality of student-athlete that represents The Woods.
All student-athletes nominated for the Student-Athlete of the Year award should not only be committed to representing SMWC Athletics at an impeccable level but must also perform at a high level in the classroom and within our community. The nominees for the award must fully embody what it means to be a Pomeroy student-athlete. Each nominee must have a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA, be involved in community outreach programs, as well as have a strong involvement on-campus.
Meet the finalists for this year's award:
- Jordan Love | Senior | Men's Cross Country
- Callan Taylor | Senior | Women's Basketball
- Kindra Gingerich | Senior | Softball, Hunt Seat/Western Equestrian
- Nicole Niespodziany | Senior | Softball
- McKenzi Kumpf | Senior | Volleyball
- Elizabeth Trausch | Senior | Women's Cross Country
Student-Athlete of the Year | Kindra Gingerich
Kindra Gingerich ended the night as the 2019 Student-Athlete of the Year and is the first dual-sport athlete in department history to win the award. Gingerich, a 5-foot-7 senior from Kokomo, Indiana (Northwestern High School) is a member of the Softball and Hunt Seat/Western Equestrian teams.
From an academic standpoint, she is a double major studying Equine Training & Instruction and Graphic Design. Kindra is a 2x USCAA National All-Academic Team Member and a 3x IHSA All-Academic Second Team Member.
In the community, she is volunteered at the United Way of the Wabash Valley where she worked as an Assistant Designer and Marketing Intern. She volunteered at the Hoosier Horse Fair on two separate occasions, was a Clinician Host for Madison Shambaugh, and worked at the Agape Therapeutic Riding Center in Cicero, Indiana. At Agape, she helped the mentally and physically disabled kids and adults as Riding Instructor.
On campus, Kindra was involved with the Collegiate Horsemen's Association (CHA) where she designed their logo, served on the Mascot Committee, earned the status of Chore Team Leader, and served as the volunteer Photographer at Equestrian shows.
On the diamond, she played an instrumental role on the SMWC 2016 and 2017 USCAA National Championship softball teams. In the 2016 season, she was named USCAA All-Tournament Team. In 2018, she helped lead her team to a 2018 USCAA National Runner-Up finish.
For the Hunt Seat Equestrian team, she qualified for the 2018 IHSA Regionals, Zones, and Nationals in Walk/Trot. She competed in the 2018 IHSA National Championships and earned 5th place in Walk/Trot. In 2019, she was an IHSA Regional Qualifier in Walk/Trot/Canter and an IHSA National Qualifier in Open Reining. Also, she earned a spot in the 2019 IHSA Regionals, Zones, and Nationals.
For the Western Equestrian team, she was a 2018 IHSA Regional and Semi-Final Qualifier in Walk/Trot. In 2019, she competed in the IHSA Regional and Semi-Finals in Open Rail and Reining.
Quote | Softball - Head Coach Mike Andrew
"A true bright spot on our team and a buoy for the team to lean on during times of turmoil. She thrives in all situations and we are excited to see what the future has for her."
Quote | Equestrian - Head Coach Sara Schulz
"Her resume speaks for itself. Not many athletes can be so successful in one sport and be a great student. She can be all those things with three sports and two majors. She is amazing with energy that very seldom runs low. For the Western Equestrian Team, she started at the lowest level and progressed to the highest level and was a major part of our being successful with a winning season. She has worked extremely hard and taken advantage of riding with some very well- known trainers over the summers to improve her skills in the offseason. She is a role model for all team members. I will miss her deeply."
Quote | Athletic Director - Deanna Bradley
"Kindra is a terrific young woman who has excelled in all areas, athletically, academically, service to her community as well as to her campus. We are grateful for what she has done and continues to do as an amazing member of the SMWC community. Congratulations, Kindra!"
Quote | Kindra Gingerich
"It is such an honor to have received this prestigious award! I would like to thank my family, my coaches, my friends and my teammates for helping me get to where I am today! I could not be doing what I am without all your support! I truly believe that God has placed you all in my life for a reason and I am beyond thankful for that! I would also like to congratulate all the other nominees for their outstanding accomplishments! Thank you for allowing me to represent SMWC as the Student-Athlete Of The Year."
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