Student athletes honored as Athletes of the Year

by Andrew Sharp ’99

Christy Swartzendruber ’16 (Shickley, Neb.), a member of the volleyball team and women’s tennis team, and Jake Hansen ’16 (Effingham, Kan.), a basketball player, were named 2016 male and female Student Athletes of the Year at the annual athletic banquet in April.

Swartzendruber, a two-time all-region player and Hesston Volleyball’s all-time leader in digs, was a huge contributor the last two seasons in which the Larks won 21 games each year.

“Playing volleyball at Hesston has allowed me to connect with people and broaden my friend circle,” Swartzendruber said. “Seeing how the community and the students came to support us was amazing. We had amazing team chemistry this year and I’m going to miss all the great times we had.”

“Christy had a huge impact on our team on and off the court,” said coach DeeDee (Martin) ’02 Landes. “She is well respected by her teammates and peers and is the epitome of a fantastic Hesston College student athlete.”

Hansen was twice awarded the men’s basketball team’s Defensive Player of the Year award. He contributed more than 450 points and 300 rebounds in his career at Hesston.

“Throughout my two years here I’ve been put in situations that have set me up for success,” Hansen said. “I’ve learned a good work ethic in the classroom and have gained a strong base to work from. The most important take away for me has been the family that I made with my teammates and also the friends I’ve made off the court.”

“Jake is a winner on and off the floor,” said coach Dustin Galyon ’04. “He’s played a vital role in elevating our program. Jake was a team captain this year and was a big part of our run to the national tournament as a freshman in 2015. More importantly, Jake is a phenomenal representative of our program and college. He is a selfless leader who has impacted many on our campus.”