Courtesy of Nick Kapatos, Grand Valley State Sports Information Graduate Assistant
NEW ORLEANS – The Grand Valley State women's cross country/track & field teams earned their sixth all-time Program of the Year Award, presented Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year award is annually given to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs in each of the three NCAA divisions and for each gender. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most combined success during the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons based on the institution's finishes at the NCAA Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team's finish at the NCAA Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field, with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient.
The Laker women scored 11 points across all three seasons, winning the 2014 Cross Country National Championships, placing sixth at the 2015 Indoor National Championships, and fourth at the 2015 Outdoor National Championships. The Lakers just barely beat out GLIAC rival Hillsdale, who scored 13 points while out-distancing Adams State while 31.5 points.
Grand Valley State sealed the Program of the Year Award with their fourth place finish at the Outdoor National Championships, while Hillsdale placed eighth. The Chargers finished runner-up in the cross country and indoor track & field seasons.
The Grand Valley State men finished second for the Damon Martin Program of the Year Award to Adams State, who wins their seventh consecutive award. The Laker men, scoring 14.5 points, finished runner-up in the cross country season, tied for second in the indoor track & field season, and finished 10th in the outdoor track & field season.