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Four student-athletes earn All-District First Team honors

May 28th, 2020

Kristen Herzet, field athlete

Bethel golfer Parker Austin, tennis players Ryan LaCombe and Kaci Wilson, and track and field competitor Kristen Herzet have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District® At-Large First Team.

The College Sports Information Directors of America announced the awards this month.

LaCombe becomes the first student-athlete in school history to earn this distinction in three consecutive years, while Austin becomes the only golfer to earn the award twice in a career.

Wilson was named to the team for the second consecutive year, and remains the only student-athlete in Bethel women’s tennis history to earn this award, which recognizes a nominee’s record of both athletic and academic achievement.

This was Herzet's first time being named to the CoSIDA Academic Team and she is the first female Bethel track and field athlete so designated.

Austin, Derby, Kan., graduated from Bethel May 17 with a B.S. in business administration.

He is one of the more decorated golfers in Bethel program history, adding three program course records at Bethany College’s Swede Invitational this fall, earning a place on the All-Decade Team, and performing multiple times as a KCAC Scholar-Athlete and NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Herzet, Marion, Kan., graduated May 15 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

Although her Bethel career was cut short by COVID-19, Herzet, a transfer as a junior, still built an impressive resume during her time as a Thresher. The senior thrower was named a KCAC Athlete of the Week four different times during her two years at Bethel, and she finished on the podium five times at the KCAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Herzet ended her career as the program record holder in the indoor shot put, weight throw and hammer throw. She has also been a three-time KCAC Scholar-Athlete.

LaCombe, Abilene, Kan., graduated May 17 with a B.A. in natural sciences and athletic training.

He was the leader of the men’s tennis team this season. In his career, he was part of two post-season appearances by the Threshers, is a multiple-time KCAC Scholar-Athlete as well as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete, and earned awards from the Kansas Athletic Trainers’ Society (KATS). He also received a Thresher Award this May for outstanding achievement in natural sciences.

Wilson, Sterling, Kan., graduated May 17 with a B.A. in chemistry.

She wrapped up her senior season for the Threshers by helping Bethel reach the post-season for three straight years before this season’s shortened schedule due to COVID-19. She is a multiple-time KCAC Scholar-Athlete as well as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Austin, LaCombe and Wilson will now have a chance to gain a place on a CoSIDA Academic All-America® team. Austin and LaCombe are in a pool of 45 and Wilson in one of 44 total Academic All-District® At-Large recipients from across the NAIA, in a variety of sports.

The final announcement will be made June 16.

CoSIDA began the Academic All-America® program in 1952. Since then, CoSIDA has honored thousands of student-athletes from numerous sports across all divisions.

Currently, CoSIDA sponsors Academic All-America® programs for men’s and women’s soccer, football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s track and field/cross country, and many other sports that fall under the “at-large” designation.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at #12, in Washington Monthly, Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at #23 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; stands at #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities listed by lendEDU as “Best for Financial Aid”; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see 

In sports, Bethel competes in the 13-member Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and the NAIA. See  Josh Booth




About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.