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Wesseling receives NCAC’s Don Hunsinger Award

Jason Wesseling  |  Photo by Linda Striggo
Jason Wesseling | Photo by Linda Striggo

CLEVELAND, Ohio– Denison University All-American swimmer Jason Wesseling has been named the recipient of the 2018 Don Hunsinger Award presented by the North Coast Athletic Conference.  This award is given annually to the top male student-athlete in the NCAC who has distinguished himself throughout his collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service, and leadership.  Wesseling is the second Denison student-athlete to receive the award, joining Casey Cempre (men's tennis) who took home the award in 2015.

An eight-time All-American and nine-time NCAC champion, Wesseling was a part of two NCAA Division III national championship teams during his time in Granville.  In his senior season, Wesseling helped the program to its fourth national championship in eight years by posting a pair of top-six finishes in the 200 backstroke (5th – 1:48.03) and the 100 backstroke (6th – 48.97). Throughout his career, Wesseling swam his best on the biggest stage.  In three trips to nationals, he posted six, top-10 finishes in the 100 and 200 backstrokes.  He was also one of Denison's top performers at the conference level, winning back-to-back NCAC titles in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events while helping the Big Red to four-straight NCAC championships.  In four years of competition at the conference level, Wesseling logged 14 top-3 all-conference finishes, four individual event championships, and five relay titles.

Along with his athletic achievements, Wesseling is a three-time Google Cloud Academic All-America® selection, a four-time CSCAA Scholar All-American, and a three-time member of the NCAC Academic Honor Roll. He was recognized at Denison's Top-50 Student-Athlete banquet in each of the last three years and this year he was named the winner of the Dr. Larry Scheiderer Award, given by the department to the highest ranking male student-athlete based on grade point average.  Wesseling boasts a sparkling 3.96 GPA and that helped him also receive Denison's Ted Barclay Top-5 Award and the University's NCAC Scholar-Athlete Award.  A member of multiple academic honor societies at Denison, Wesseling graduated in 2018 with a triple major in English, political science, and the classics.

Wesseling was also actively involved on campus and in his community during his time at Denison.  He was a resident assistant, serving as an administrator to the residence halls in addition to developing educational programs regarding student wellness. He also received the Juliet Barker Sarett Scholarship in 2017 thanks to his excellence and accomplishments within Denison's English department. Those leadership skills also translated to his community work as a swimming instructor at the Jenison Aquatics Center in Jenison, Michigan. As an instructor, Wesseling taught children age 2-13 to develop basic aquatic skills and life-saving techniques.

This award commemorates former Oberlin administrator and coach Don Hunsinger, who had a far-reaching influence on the athletes he coached in a wide variety of sports. Over more than three decades, Hunsinger served Oberlin as athletic director, chairman of the department of physical education, had stints as head coach for Yeoman football, baseball, and men's and women's tennis, and assisted with the men's and women's basketball programs. Four times he earned NCAC Coach of the Year recognition, twice in men's tennis and twice in women's. Hunsinger, who retired from the College in 2008, continues to serve the conference as Director of Tennis.

NCAC Don Hunsinger Award Winners

2018 - Jason Wesseling, Denison
2017 - Trevor Manz, Kenyon
2016 - Geno Arthur, Oberlin
2015 - Casey Cempre, Denison
2014 - Andrew Chevalier, Kenyon
2013 - Curtis Ramsey, Kenyon
2012 - Sharif Kronemer, Ohio Wesleyan
2011 - Kyle Herman, Ohio Wesleyan
2010 - J. David Gatz, Ohio Wesleyan
2009 - Kyle Holliday, Ohio Wesleyan