RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician College seniors James Vander Wiele (Pequannock, NJ/Pequannock Township) and Grace Keller (Hoboken, NJ/Holy Family Academy) have been named the 2011-12 Felician Male and Female Senior Student-Athletes of the Year. The duo was honored at the athletics department's senior banquet on Tuesday night at The Fiesta in Wood-Ridge.
The Felician Senior Student-Athletes of the Year are the male and female graduating athletes who, as selected by department administrators, best represent the mission statement of Golden Falcon athletics. Academic performance, athletic contribution, citizenship, and leadership both inside and outside of athletics are among the selection criteria.
Vander Wiele is one of the most decorated athletes in the history of the Felician men's cross-country program. He is one of only three runners in the 12-year history of the program to attain all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference status four times. As a freshman in 2008, he was named CACC Runner of the Year and CACC Rookie of the Year after winning the conference championship race. This season, along with teammate Rob Albano, he became one of the first two Golden Falcons to ever be named NCAA All-Region.
Vander Wiele was also a member of three Felician squads that won the CACC team championship, and was either the Golden Falcons' No. 1 or No. 2 runner on those teams. He owns a 3.16 grade-point average as an accounting major. Vander Wiele is a 2008 graduate of Pequannock Township High.
Keller will graduate as the Felician softball program's all-time leader in games played, with 174. A four-year starter, she played regularly at six positions throughout her career, including four (LF, RF, 2B, SS) in her senior season. Her 127 career base hits are fourth in program history, and she is also among the all-time top five in runs scored and stolen bases.
Keller was Felician's 2012 recipient of the Woman of the Year Award from the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, and was a 2011 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar Athlete. A 2008 graduate of Holy Family Academy of Bayonne, Keller maintains a 3.41 GPA as a double major in elementary education and art
Felician also honored its 27 senior student-athletes across its 10 intercollegiate NCAA Division II sports at Tuesday night's banquet.