Bennett, Dunlap earn Sportswoman, Sportsman of Year

Grove City College honored junior cross country/track and field competitor Lydia Bennett and senior football/track and field performer Gabe Dunlap as its Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, respectively, for the 2023-24 academic year.

Bennett and Dunlap received their awards Sunday night at the athletic department's awards gathering in Pew Fine Arts Center.

A three-year letterwinner in both sports, Bennett, of Bethel, Maine, helped Grove City's women's cross country team capture the Presidents' Athletic Conference title last fall as she took fourth individually at the conference championships. She earned First Team All-Conference honors for the third straight season and then added her third All-Mid-Atlantic Region honor by finishing a career-best 16th at the regional championships in November.

Her efforts helped Grove City place eighth in the region, marking the second straight top-10 finish for the Wolverines at the regional championships.

At the Presidents' Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Morgantown, Bennett won the 1500 meters with a time of 4 minutes, 43.29 seconds and also placed third in the 800. As a sophomore, she qualified for the All-Atlantic Regional Championships in the 1500, the 1600 relay and the runner-up 3200-meter relay.

Bennett owns the school record in the outdoor 1500 (4:38.80) and ranks third all-time at the College in the 800 meters (2:19.72). She also owns the indoor College records in the 500 (1:20.69), the 800 (2:17.10) and the mile (5:03.20) while also contributing to the school record in the distance medley relay.

Last winter, Bennett earned runner-up in the mile at the indoor conference championships while also taking third in the 800. She set school records in both events. She then broke her own mile record at the All-Atlantic Championships, where she finished third overall.

A communication studies major, Bennett has been named to the Dean's List and the Presidents' Athletic Conference's Academic Honor Roll in both cross country and track and field.

A versatile performer in both of his sports, Dunlap, of Harrison City, Pa., helped three Grove City teams capture Presidents' Athletic Conference titles this academic year. During the fall, he excelled at cornerback and as a kick returner for the football team, helping Grove City to a 10-0 record and the Wolverines' first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

A three-year starter in the defensive backfield, Dunlap shared the team lead with three interceptions and ranked third on the team with 61 tackles this fall. Dunlap also averaged 27.7 yards per kickoff return and 16 yards per punt return, highlighted by a return touchdown against Saint Vincent in Week Eight.

The Presidents' Athletic Conference coaches honored Dunlap as a First Team All-Conference selection at defensive back and Second Team All-Conference as a kick returner. Dunlap then earned All-Region honors as both a cornerback and return specialist.

Following the season, the College Sports Communicators selected Dunlap as a Division III Academic All-American.

Dunlap helped the men's indoor and outdoor track and field teams to conference titles this year by excelling both on the track and in a variety of field events. He scored in five events at the conference championship in February to help Grove City win the indoor title at Youngstown State.

Dunlap then set a program record in the heptathlon with 4,272 points at the All-Atlantic Championships, earning sixth place overall.

He won the conference title in the javelin while also contributing points in the long and triple jumps, the pole vault and the 400-meter relay as Grove City won the outdoor conference title April 26 in Morgantown, W.Va.

As a junior, he earned Field MVP honors at the 2023 Outdoor conference championships after scoring in five events to help the Wolverines win the conference title. He then won the All-Atlantic title in the decathlon with a school-record sum of 5,837 points.

Dunlap capped his junior season by placing 10th in the javelin at the NCAA Division III Championships last May. He ranks fourth all-time at the College in the javelin with a best throw of 196 feet, 6 inches. He owns the school record in the indoor 60-meter dash with a time of 7.18 seconds.

Dunlap is also president of Grove City's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has been named to the conference's Academic Honor Roll in both sports. An entrepreneurship major, he is also a Dean's List student.

Bennett, Dunlap earn Sportswoman, Sportsman of Year

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