TOWSON, Md. --- Moravian College senior John Spirk has been selected as the 2019 Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete for Men's Indoor Track & Field.
The Landmark Conference selects 22 senior scholar athletes each year to recognize the top student-athlete in each sport based on academics and athletics. The honorees must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 and are selected by a committee of Landmark Conference officers, athletics directors, senior woman administrators and sports information directors. Chosen at the conclusion of each sport season, the six winter honorees are being announced this week.
Spirk has helped the men's indoor track & field squad to four consecutive Landmark Conference Indoor Championships while being named as the Landmark Conference Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Year the last two winters. Spirk won the 60-meter hurdles at the Landmark meet for the fourth straight year last month in a time of 8.33 seconds, and he also captured the 400-meter dash for a second straight year in 51.87 seconds. Spirk has seven Landmark All-Conference First Team honors indoors and one Second Team selection for the 4x400-meter relay in 2017. He has been named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Mideast Region the last three winters, and Spirk has indoor personal bests of 8.25 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at the Lehigh Fast Times Before Finals this past December and 50.52 seconds in the 400-meter dash set in February.
Outdoors, Spirk has helped lead the Greyhounds to three Landmark Conference title while being named the Male Co-Track Athlete of the Year in 2017 and the Male Rookie of the Year in 2016. He heads into his final season as the three-time defending Landmark Conference Champion in both the 110-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. In addition to those six All-Conference First Team honors, Spirk helped the 4x400-meter relay finish second a year ago. Spirk is a two-time USTFCCCA All-Mideast honoree in the 110-meter hurdles and once in the 400-meter hurdles, and he was the ECAC Division III Runner-Up in the 110-meter hurdles in 2017. Spirk has career best times of 14.76 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles to win the 2018 Landmark title, 54.61 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles at the Greyhound Invitational last April and 50.57 seconds in the 400-meter dash in the Muhlenberg Invitational in 2018.
Off the track, Spirk has a 3.68 GPA while majoring in computer science with a minor in mathematics. He is a three-time member of the Landmark Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll and will make the Spring Academic Honor Roll for a third time in May. Spirk has also been on Moravian's Dean's List five times, and he was part of the Greyhounds' inaugural Chi Alpha Sigma National Athlete Honor Society in 2018. Spirk is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, open to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated high academic achievement, leadership in campus activities and organizations, and service to College and community, and Phi Mu Epsilon, the National Mathematics Honor Society. Spirk serves as the Vice-President and PR officer for the Newman Association on campus, and he is also a member of Moravian's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a New Student Orientation Leader.
"John has maintained a very strong GPA in his time at Moravian while also going above and beyond working on a project with Merck for the past two years," stated Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Jesse Baumann. "Something we stress with athletes is the importance of not only doing well in the classroom, but pursuing relevant out-of-the-class experience, which John has done. That's exactly what you want to see from the student-athletes, that they're maximizing their opportunities to be successful when the leave Moravian, and John has certainly done just that.
"He's the type of person that is diligent with all the details, as I mentioned his GPA and the work he puts into his major in additional relevant experiences are great examples of that," continued Baumann. "As an athlete, he excelled here because he put in all the extra work. He came in here without a lot of accolades but transformed himself into the Landmark Athlete of the Year who was 0.01 seconds from qualifying for the NCAAs in Boston this week. He battled some illness and hamstring injuries in January and February, or else I'm certain he would have run the 8.24 he needed to qualify. As long as he's healthy during outdoors, I'm confident he'll finally earn a trip to NCAAs out in Cleveland. He's a tremendous, well-rounded student-athlete who is extremely worthy of this recognition."
Spirk is Moravian's 27th Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete since the conference began in 2007-08, and he is the fourth men's indoor track & field student-athlete to be honored and seventh overall male track & field honoree including the outdoor season.
To view the history of the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete, visit http://www.landmarkconference.org/honors/srscholar/index.