Bethel College cross country and track standout Joel Hartman ’17 has certainly made his contribution to Bethel sports history since his first collegiate appearance in the fall of 2013. The record books show a nearly uninterrupted momentum of improvement on and off the course from his freshmen year to his senior season.
He currently carries the Bethel men’s cross country record in the 8K (a record he set in 2014 and broke again four times last year) and five Individual Bethel Track and Field records; he is also a two-time NAIA All-American and a five-time NCCAA All-American.
Not only has Hartman’s athletic performance attracted notice, his performance in the classroom and throughout the community has earned him the title of scholar-athlete by both the NCCAA and the NAIA. He was also granted the prestigious Wheeler Award by the NCCAA in 2015 — celebrating exceptional athletic accomplishment, academic performance, and notable exhibition of service and Christian values.
Hartman, who is majoring in both Spanish and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), is driven by a desire to teach and having a heart for both young people and Spanish-speaking communities. He has served as a mentor for Five Star Life and completed a TESOL practicum at The Language Company in South Bend.
“[I would like to work] with middle schoolers and high schoolers … hopefully middle schoolers, because that was a time [in my life] when I was most impacted,” he says.
He adds that being an athlete gives him a platform to connect with people, especially students, and glorify God.
“Being a Bethel athlete has a lot to do with doing the absolute best with what you’re given, having fun with it, having joy with it, having adventure with it, and making it about the people and giving God the glory for what you do.”
As a leader and senior, he has his sights set on leaving a legacy for future teams.
“The defining moment of a leader is not necessarily when you lead best on the team, but realizing what it’s going to be like when you’re gone. We want to start a culture on this team that goes beyond us.”
Hartman began his fourth and final season with Bethel Cross Country Sept. 9 at the Twilight Invitational hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY RECORD
8K record 25:37 (Nov. 21, 2015)
INDIVIDUAL TRACK AND FIELD RECORDS
Indoor 1600 meter record 4:18.57 (Spring 2016)
Indoor 3000 meter record 8:36.83 (Spring 2016)
Outdoor 1500 meter record: 3:53.38 (Spring 2016)
Outdoor 3000 meter Steeplechase record 9:16.4 (Spring 2016)
Outdoor 5000 meter record 14:51 (Spring 2016)