The 2015 Hope College women’s country team is in elite company for its success in the classroom.
The Flying Dutch, coached by Mark Northuis, are one of two teams in the country to earn the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team honors in Division III with the maximum seven All-Academic individual honorees.
Hope joins USTFCCCA Division III Scholar Team of the Year Williams, Massachusetts with seven individual recipients.
It is a proud achievement, Northuis said.
“Being only one of two teams to have all seven women runners be selected as Academic All-Americans is outstanding,” Northuis said. “Then to also have the Elite 90 winner puts the women's team in class of their own.”
Senior Michelle Kerr of Dearborn, Michigan (Divine Child HS) claimed the NCAA Elite 89 award last November after recording the highest grade point average among participants in the Division III national championships. It was the second time in three years Kerr claimed the NCAA award.
The Flying Dutch claimed USTFCCCA recognition for the 26th consecutive time by recording a 3.59 grade point average. There were one of 207 women’s teams who earned the award with a 3.1 GPA or higher. The highest GPA among honorees was Dubuque Iowa at 3.739.
Hope finished 28th at the national meet last November.
Individual USTFCCCA honors went to Kerr, senior Julia Stock of Norton Shores, Michigan (Grand Haven HS), junior Erin Herrmann of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS), junior Emily Joosse of Chillicothe, Ohio (Zane Trace HS), freshman Emily Hamilton of Naperville, Illinois (Naperville North HS), freshman Avery Lowe of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon HS) and freshman Sarah Neumar of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Huron HS).
There were 352 women’s recipients who were honored after registering a 3.30 GPA or higher.
The Flying Dutchmen also received USTFCCCA All-Academic Team status for the 25th time in 26 years. They also had two individual honorees: senior Joseph Beemer of St. Joseph, Michigan (St. Joseph HS) and junior Tyler Brinks of Commerce Township, Michigan (Walled Lake Northern HS).
“We are very proud of the way our men's and women's scholar-athletes continue to represent Hope College in the classroom and on the cross country course,” Northuis said. “The tradition of excellence that they have established as scholar-athletes is evident in the number of consecutive years both teams have earn the Academic All-American team honors.”