Stoffel named Athlete of the Year by Crossroads

Athlete-of-the-Year Hannah Stoffel
Athlete-of-the-Year Hannah Stoffel Photo provided.

The Crossroads League announced its 2019-2020 Female Athlete-of-the-Year honor on July 9, with two-sport standouts Hannah Stoffel of Huntington and Erin Oleksak of Marian sharing the prestigious award.

It’s the first time in league history that two athletes have shared this designation. It’s also the first time in school history that a Huntington female has received this high praise.

Stoffel was dominant for HU throughout the 2019-2020 year in cross country and indoor track. The IU transfer stole the show with four NAIA National Championships, six NAIA All-American performances, five Crossroads League Championships and five All-Crossroads League efforts over the two seasons.

The Huntington native fueled the Foresters to its first-ever NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship and paced her team to a program-best 10th-place showing at the NAIA Cross Country Nationals.

Stoffel highlighted her record-setting cross country season by topping the field at nationals by 16 seconds for the first NAIA Women’s Cross Country Championship in Crossroads League history. That effort followed a CL Championship and earned Stoffel’s first NAIA All-American award of the year.

The success carried over into the indoor season, where Stoffel raced to NAIA Championships in the 4x800 and distance-medley relays, as well as the 800-meters and added top-three showings in the mile and 600-meters at nationals. Stoffel was named an NAIA All-American in each of those five events, on the heels of picking up Crossroads League Championships and All-CL recognition in the 600, 800, 1,000 and distance-medley relay.

“Hannah deserves this award due to all the hard work and dedication she put in throughout the year,” remarked HU Head Cross Country Coach Nick Johnson. “She led the league with her numerous national titles across two sports and helped lead her indoor track team to a national championship. “We are extremely proud of how she has represented herself, her team, her university and her league throughout this past year.”

The Crossroads League Female Student-Athlete of the Year award is nominated and voted on by the 10 Athletic Directors from the Crossroads League and announced each summer.