posted September 10, 1999

Tracksters Excel in Classroom

For the second year in-a-row, both Hope College
track teams have been honored for academic achievement by the
United States Track Coaches Association.  This national
recognition was initiated in 1998.
     The women's team had the second best cumulative grade point
average among all NCAA Division III institutions during the 1998-
99 school year.  Nebraska Wesleyan maintained the best GPA at
3.54 while the Flying Dutch were 3.46.
     The men's team had the eighth best cumulative GPA nationally
at 3.14. The top men's team in the nation was Emory, Ga. at 3.31.
Both teams were coached last spring by Mark Northuis.
     Honored for individual academic accomplishment were Jennifer
Ernst of Westerville, Ohio (Westerville South HS) and Emily
Sowers of Grand Rapids (GR Christian HS).  Ernst is a senior this
fall while Sowers is a junior.
     To qualify for the individual academic award, a student must
have participated at the Division III championships and
maintained a minimum 3.25 GPA.  Both Ernst and Sowers achieved
NCAA Division III All-America distinction last spring at the
outdoor track and field championships.  Sowers finished fifth in
the discus while Ernst was seventh in the 10,000-
meter run.
     This is the second year that Sowers has been honored by the
national track coaches association.  She is a psychology and
sociology major.  Ernst is an art major.  Both were honored for
academic achievement in 1998-99 by the Michigan Intercollegiate
Athletic Association (MIAA).
     The 1998-99 school year was a banner year for Hope student-
athletes on both the field of competition and in the classroom.
Hope won the MIAA All-Sports award (now known as the
Commissioner's Cup) a league record of 22nd time.  Teams and
individual athletes competed in eight NCAA Division III
championships. Seven teams (men's and women's cross country,
men's and women's swimming, men's tennis and men's and women's
track) were honored nationally for academic performance.