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Northwest Nazarene's Johnson Receives Elite 90 Award
Ben Johnson, pictured with NNU head coach Joe Schaefer, has a 3.98 GPA as a double major in biology and biochemistry.
Ben Johnson, pictured with NNU head coach Joe Schaefer, has a 3.98 GPA as a double major in biology and biochemistry.

Monday, June 7, 2021

CARY, N.C. – It is Northwest Nazarene’s first-ever trip to the Division II Baseball Championships but the Nighthawks are already bringing home some prestigious hardware.

Nighthawks’ senior Ben Johnson was named the recipient of the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award for the Division II Baseball Championships. The award is presented at each of the NCAA’s 90 championships to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA competing at each championship site. Ties are broken by the total number of credits completed.

Johnson, a starter for NNU at catcher, pitcher and designated hitter, has a 3.98 cumulative GPA as a double major in biology and biochemistry. He has already been accepted to medical school in the fall.

On the field, Johnson earned First Team All-GNAC and Second Team NCBWA All-West Region honors as a utility player as he helped lead Northwest Nazarene to the GNAC and West Region titles. A starter in 39 of the Nighthawks’ 43 games, Johnson is hitting .333 with 40 hits, five doubles, 19 RBI and 13 walks. In eight appearances and seven starts on the mound, Johnson has a 3-0 record with a 4.45 earned run average and 22 strikeouts.

Johnson is the fifth GNAC athlete to receive the Elite 90 Award. Alaska Anchorage’s Marie Ries earned the award at the 2020 Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships while the Seawolves’ Yvonne Jeschke was the recipient at the 2019 Division II Cross Country Championships. Western Oregon’s Tyler Jones and Central Washington’s Alexa Shindruk swept the awards at the 2018 Division II Cross Country Championships.

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