SEWARD, Neb. – The most prestigious award handed out each year by College Sports Communicators (CSC) to an NAIA men’s track & field athlete has been reeled in by Concordia University’s Zach Bennetts. The Denton, Neb., native was announced on Thursday (June 29) by CSC as the 2022-23 Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year for NAIA men’s track & field/cross country. He was joined with Academic All-America awards by teammates Calvin Rohde (second team) and Zach Zohner (first team).
The 2022-23 NAIA Academic All-America® Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Teams, selected by CSC, recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in athletic competition and in the classroom. The College Sports Communicators Academic All-America® program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.
Bennetts joins Josiah McAllister as the second men’s athlete in Concordia Track history to be named the Academic All-American of the Year. Bennetts and Rachel Battershell gave the Bulldogs a sweep of the 2022-23 NAIA track & field/cross country Academic All-America Team Member of the Year awards.
Concordia CSC NAIA Track & Field Academic All-Americans of the Year
· Rachel Battershell (2023)
· Zach Bennetts (2023)
· Samantha Liermann (2018 and 2019)
· Josiah McAllister (2019)
· Josie Puelz (2022)
A two-time NAIA pole vault All-American, Bennetts graduated from Concordia after studying Biology, Chemistry and Exercise Science. He captured three GPAC pole vault tiles in his career and was a four-time NAIA national qualifier. Additional honors for Bennetts, Rohde and Zohner are included below.
2022-23 Academic All-Americans, as selected by College Sports Communicators
Zach Bennetts | Denton, Neb. (Academic All-American of the Year/First Team)
2x NAIA pole vault All-American … 3x Great Plains Athletic Conference pole vault champion … 4x NAIA national qualifier … six career All-GPAC awards … 2022 CoSIDA Academic All-America/All-District … cleared 16’ 1” at the 2023 NAIA indoor national meet and placed seventh … 3x NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Calvin Rohde | Reed City, Mich. (Second Team)
T&F: 4x NAIA national qualifier … won two GPAC Athlete of the Week awards in 2023 … nine career all-conference awards … owns personal bests of 3:54.98 in the 1,500 meters, 8:44.80 in the 3,000 meters, 4:12.33 in the mile and 14:42.28 in the 5,000 meters (No. 2 in school history) … 2x NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
XC: 2021 NAIA national qualifier … 2x all-conference award winner … helped Concordia place second in the GPAC in 2022 … 2x NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Zach Zohner | Battle Creek, Neb. (First Team)
2023 NAIA indoor pole vault national runner up … 2x pole vault All-American … 2023 Great Plains Athletic Conference outdoor pole vault champion … five career all-conference awards … ranks No. 5 on school’s all-time indoor pole vault list with personal best of 16’ 6 ¾” … 2x NAIA Scholar-Athlete.