Penner, Shieldnight earn back-to-back honors as male & female athlete of the year

Toby Penner & Zoe Shieldnight

Toby Penner and Zoe Shieldnight have left a lasting legacy with Tabor College Athletics.

One year after celebrating their selections as male and female athletes of the year, the duo won the awards for a second time at the Year in Sports Celebration in the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. The end-of-year event commemorated their decorated careers as Bluejays.

Penner’s track & field career is etched in Tabor College record books. He is a three-time national qualifier in outdoor and also qualified twice for indoors.

Penner won the conference championship in the 400M hurdles (53.58) in early May. He ran the same race at the NAIA National Outdoor Track & Field Championships, earning All-American honors and placing fifth (52.23).

In his final indoor season, Penner, along with teammates Dillon Callaway (FR, Sapulpa, Okla.), Nick Montoya (SO, Pueblo, Colo.), and Caden Cunningham (FR, Richmond, Texas), smashed the school record in the distance medley relay at 10:07.69. He also came in ninth nationally in the 600M run (1:20.22).

After graduating on May 21, Penner will now pursue his master’s degree in Communications at Wichita State University. He is also using his final year of track eligibility as a Shocker.

“The biggest thing I’ll take away from Tabor is learning how to interact, live with, and witness to people who are different than me,” Penner said. “The Tabor campus has certain spaces and groups that are very diverse and as a member of the track team that helped expand my perspective in a number of areas and mature in my faith, specifically.”

Shieldnight earned honorable mention NAIA All-American honors for a second-straight year. She averaged 10.5 points per game, shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor. She also earned first-team All-KCAC honors in consecutive seasons.

Following her wedding this summer, Shieldnight will teach math at McPherson Middle School in McPherson, Kan. With less than three months separating her graduation from Tabor and her first year of teaching, Shieldnight is thankful for the support of her Tabor coaches, teammates, and professors and how they prepared her for this next step.

“I want to help guide students who might be going through a difficult time,” Shieldnight said. “I want to share with them the things I’ve gone through and how it shaped me as a basketball player and a student. There is life application in basketball, and I look forward to using what I’ve learned with my students.”