Open menu

Baumer Receives Coveted NCCAA Wheeler Award

Nov 16, 2019

Sam Baumer at Dolly Parton's Stampede holding his award and posing with NCCAA DI Chairman Covarrabius and other dignitaries in background
Samuel Baumer

Greenville, SC: The NCCAA is pleased to announce Samuel Baumer of College of the Ozarks as the 2019 Wheeler Award Recipient for Division I Men’s Cross Country.


Baumer, a junior from Columbia, Missouri, has a phenomenal work ethic, which has placed him at the top of the Bobcats’ team leaderboard in almost every race since his arrival as a freshman. He finished 17th at the 2018 NCCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Championship in a time of 27:09.7. At the 2018 NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championship, he finished in a personal best time of 25:53.8. Baumer was named to the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) All-Conference Team in 2018 and has been selected as the A.I.I. Runner of the Week several times.


The nursing major’s hard work can also be seen off the race course. Baumer, an NCCAA and NAIA Scholar-Athlete, currently boasts a 3.94 GPA while he balances the demands of the classroom, practice and meets, on-campus work assignment in Christian Ministries, and his volunteer responsibilities at a nearby church. He is active in the team Bible Study and helps draw his teammates into greater knowledge and love for the Lord. Baumer is also actively involved in the coordination and implementation of the Christian Service Project at the 2019 NCCAA Cross Country Championships.


“From the first day he stepped on campus, Sammy has been a leader for our team,” stated Head Coach Clint Woods. “He has led by a heart of service, a hunger to compete, and his ability to put the needs of others ahead of himself.”


Other Finalists

Camryn Snapp, Campbellsville University


The Wheeler Cross Country Award, for men, is sponsored by John and Jody Wheeler who have been involved in athletic activities of Christian high schools and colleges for many years. The Wheelers continue to actively participate in the area of athletics and wish to promote athletics in Christian colleges. They have chosen to do this by a special individual award for excellence. This award was established in order to enhance excellence in Christian cross country competition and to perpetuate the Christian philosophy and faith as exemplified through Christ-like cross country participation in NCCAA member institutions.


Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the NCCAA strives to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ through its 24 National Championships and 2 National Invitationals.  For more information on the NCCAA, contact the NCCAA National Office at (864) 250-1199 or visit