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Athlete of the Week No. 5

February 08, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kennedy Kithuka of Wayland Baptist (Texas) has been named the NAIA National Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and Gabe Wickham of Hastings (Neb.) has been tabbed as the NAIA National Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Kithuka and Wickham were selected based on their performances from Jan. 30 – Feb. 5. The weekly honor marks the second this season for Wickham, who was also awarded on Jan. 25.

Kithuka, a NAIA indoor All-American in each of the last two seasons, placed first in a field of 21 runners in the 5,000-meter run at the Texas Tech Open on Feb. 4. The junior from Nairobi, Kenya, clocked a time of 13:59.73 – nearly a full minute better than the runner up. That performance gave Kithuka the top time in the NAIA this season in the 5,000 meters, ahead of Concordia’s (Ore.) Matthew Clowes (14:08.52). Kithuka also possesses the top times in the mile run (4:04.54) and the 3,000-meter run (8:03.24).

Wickham, a senior from Phillipsburg, Kan., continued his outstanding season with a first-place finish in the weight throw at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational at the University of Nebraska held Feb. 3 – 4. Wickham’s toss of 66 – 9 ¼ trumped a field that included competitors from several NCAA Division I schools. He currently holds the top weight throw mark in the NAIA this season at 69 – 5 ¼.

For a complete listing of all the national event leaders, click here.

The next Athletes of the Week will be announced on Feb. 15.

Track Nominees: Cody Risch, Cornerstone (Mich.); Logan Moore, Siena Heights (Mich.); Andy Coy, Dakota State (S.D.); Nathan Mesta, Oklahoma Christian; Justin Jones, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Geovanni Popoca, Friends (Kan.); Dustin Heiler, Aquinas (Mich.); Philiph Tonui, Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.); Monte Larsen, Morningside (Iowa); Brian Bragg, Eastern Oregon; Nathan Vogel, Tabor (Kan.); Nicholas Hestand, Evangel (Mo.); Aleksander Jakobsen, Ashford (Iowa); Pete Westerkamp, Grand View (Iowa); Taylor Nall, Baker (Kan.); Mike Hurd, College of Idaho; Curtis Bedor, Central Methodist (Mo.); Jake GunderKline, Goshen (Ind.); Erin Francis, Dordt (Iowa); Andy Reidsma, Trinity Christian (Ill.); Brijesh (B.J.) Lawrence, Doane (Neb.); Jasen Brown, Concordia (Ore.); Elton Cody, Warner Pacific (Ore.); Sullivan Stevens, Southern Oregon; Michael Blaszczyk, St. Francis (Ill.); Kyle Konigsberg, William Woods (Mo.); John Cartier, Concordia (Neb.).

Field Nominees: Bryant Langdon, Cornerstone (Mich.); Matt Leaders, Siena Heights (Mich.); Brandon Jackson, Oklahoma Christian; Cj Davis, Davenport (Mich.); Max Perry, Southern Oregon; Lucas Limberg, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Frank Miles, Friends (Kan.); Robbie Haynie, Eastern Oregon; Austin Smith, Ashford (Iowa); Cy Williams, Grand View (Iowa); Kiefer Smith, Central Methodist (Mo.); Kyle Abney, Indiana Wesleyan; Ray Zaagman, Trinity Christian (Ill.); Kameron Conley, Oklahoma Baptist ; Rob Keeney, Doane (Neb.); Eric Whalen, Concordia (Ore.); Rick Avila, Concordia (Calif.); Jeremy Kaplan, St. Francis (Ill.); Shane Rowan, Westmont (Calif.); Ethan DeJongh, Fresno Pacific (Calif.); Anthony Stockton, William Woods (Mo.).

2012 Composite Award Winners (Track & Field) (Schedule)
Week 1: Edwin Ronoh, Doane (Neb.); Rob Keeney, Doane (Neb.)
Week 2: Monte Larsen, Morningside (Iowa); Raheem Cowan, Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Week 3: B.J. Lawrence, Doane (Neb.); Gabe Wickham, Hastings (Neb.)
Week 4: Matthew Clowes, Concordia (Ore.); Robbie Haynie, Eastern Oregon
Week 5: Kennedy Kithuka, Wayland Baptist; Gabe Wickham, Hastings (Neb.)