By Mona Hatfield
Wed, Jul 19
CLEVELAND, OH – Recent Kenyon College graduate and men’s swimming & diving student-athlete Mart Niehoff (Utrecht, Netherlands/Christelijk Lyceum Zeist) has been named the recipient of the 2023 North Coast Athletic Conference Don Hunsinger Award.
Niehoff wrapped up his collegiate swimming career with a selection to the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships in 2023. On the national stage this past season, he helped the Owls to a runner-up finish in the team standings, while claiming an All-American performance after capturing the national title in the 200-yard freestyle relay. During the 2023 NCAC Championship, Niehoff and his teammates claimed the conference title in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Owls also collected their league-leading 24th and 25th league titles during Niehoff’s freshman (2020) and senior (2023) seasons.
In the classroom, Niehoff graduated with a 3.93 cumulative grade point average as an economics and mathematics major. He was a constant on Kenyon’s Merit List, achieving the honor in every semester during his time in Gambier. He was also a two-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-American and a three-time NCAC Academic Honor Roll honoree. In 2023, Niehoff was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and earned high honors and distinction in economics. He was also inducted into the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society in 2021. Niehoff served as the lead tutor for Introductory Statistics in 2021 and Principles of Macroeconomics in 2022, while also serving as a grader for Principles of Microeconomics in 2021. He organized study halls for his teammates and served as a tutor in economics, mathematics and statistics from 2021-2023. As a result of his hard work and discipline in the classroom, Niehoff was selected as a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 2023, a $10,000 one-time non-renewable award that can be used to continue his education.
On campus, Niehoff was involved with the swimming and diving team bonding committee, in which he coordinated events to encourage team cohesion and help teammates develop leadership skills outside of the pool. In 2022 and 2023, he served as the team’s treasurer, maintaining the team’s finances and balancing the budget. Niehoff volunteered his time participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and as a Kenyon track and field team meet helper.
Niehoff was one of six outstanding nominees considered for the selection committee. The other candidates included:
Evan DiSanto, Men’s Golf, Wittenberg University
Charlie Fleming, Baseball, Denison University
Noah Golovan, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Wooster
Elijah Gum-Hales, Men’s Basketball, DePauw University
Ethan Stonis, Men’s Lacrosse, Wabash College
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, also served as the NCAC Director of Tennis through 2022.
The award recognizes one male senior student-athlete who has distinguished himself throughout his collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Each conference institution can nominate a distinguished male student-athlete for the honor. A committee of North Coast Athletic Conference administrators and faculty representatives, in conjunction with the conference office, makes the selection.
COURTESY NORTH COAST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE COMMUNICATIONS