Grand Valley State's Ritter, Tiffin's Ngandu Named 2017-18 GLIAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Grand Valley State's Ritter, Tiffin's Ngandu Named 2017-18 GLIAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year

GLIAC -- Grand Valley State's Angela Ritter and Tiffin's James Ngandu have been selected as recipients of the 2017-18 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. The winners, awarded annually to one male and one female, were chosen from the 18 male and female GLIAC Commissioner's Award honorees throughout the 2017-18 academic year showcasing the top student-athletes both on the field and in the classroom.

Angela Ritter | Track & Field | Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State's Angela Ritter finished her final year with the Lakers as she collected three All-American honors (Indoor; 4x400m/Outdoor; 4x100, 4x400), a national championship as a member of the 4x400m relay team during the indoor season, six GLIAC titles (Indoor; 200m, 4x400m/Outdoor; 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m) and a combined four GLIAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week awards during the indoor and outdoor season.
During the 2017-2018 indoor season, Ritter claimed a national title as a member of the 4x400m relay with an indoor school record of 3:40.34. At the GLIAC Indoor Championships, she won an individual title in the 200m dash (24.71), placed second in the 60m dash (7.66) and helped the 4x400m relay team to a first place finish with a time of 3:43.38. She also was named the GLIAC Women's High Point Athlete of the meet after she scored 20.5 points for GVSU.
At the 2018 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, she earned two more All-American honors as a member of the 4x100m relay team after they placed second in the race with a school record of 44.93, followed by another second place finish in the the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:37.61; Ritter also helped the 4x400m relay team set the outdoor school record in the preliminary race with a time of 3:36.87. During the GLIAC Outdoor Championships, she claimed individual titles in the 100m dash (11.86) and the 200m dash (24.09), while she helped the 4x100m (46.01) and the 4x400m (3:47.46) relay teams claim titles as well. Also, Ritter was named the GLIAC's Women's Track Athlete of the Year, Women's Track Athlete of the Meet and the High Point Athlete of the Meet with 25 points. 
In addition to her accomplishments on the track, Ritter, was also chosen as a GLIAC Commissioner's Award recipient for the second time in her career and named an 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-American as she finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.71 as a Biomedical Science major.

James Ngandu | Track & Field/Cross Country | Tiffin University

James Ngandu has had one of the most distinguished careers in Tiffin University history, excelling at the highest level in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. In the 2018 outdoor season, Ngandu was the national champion in the 10,000 meters, while also taking 4th in the 5000. His 10K time of 29:19.91 was 7 seconds faster than his nearest competitor and just 3 seconds off his own personal record. It improved his finish from one year ago, when he took second. In the 5000, he posted a time of 14:04.85. In the 10K and 5K combined, Ngandu has accounted for 6 outdoor All American honors along with 6 more All American honors in indoor competition in the 3000 and 5000 meters. He was also named the 2018 Midwest Region and GLIAC Track Athlete of the Year.

In the 2018 indoor season, Ngandu earned two First Team All American honors at nationals, finishing 2nd in the 5000 meters in 14:00.29 and 4th in the 3000 in 8:07.36. Entering nationals, Ngandu had posted the second-best and fourth-best times in the 5000 and 3000, respectively. His marks in both events were also the top times in the Midwest Region, while he also had the top regional time in the mile. 

In cross country, Ngandu enjoyed another stellar season in 2017, culminating his cross country career by winning the NCAA Division II National Championship by 34 seconds over his nearest competitor in 30:18.8. Ngandu finished the season undefeated, winning his 3rd straight GLIAC title, 2nd consecutive Midwest Region title, was named GLIAC Male Athlete of the Year, Midwest Region Athlete of the Year, and National Runner of the Year. The greatest long distance runner to ever step foot upon the campus of Tiffin University, James also excelled in the classroom, majoring in Criminal Justice while posting six GLIAC All Academic citations. He was a 2017 Commissioner's Award recipient as well as being named USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year

Click to view previous GLIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients