NEW ORLEANS - The NCAA champion Grand Valley State women's cross country team was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association DII women's Scholar Team of the Year for 2018, while GVSU's Sara Berger was named USTFCCCA female top scholar-athlete.
Grand Valley State, with a team GPA of 3.58, waltzed away with the team title this past year as the Lakers recorded just 41 points behind five All-Americans. All of the scored Laker athletes finished in the top 26 of the race that included four in the top nine. To go with the national title, GVSU also won the NCAA Midwest Regional Title and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.
The Lakers have now captured Scholar Team of the Year honors in six of the past nine seasons.
Overall there were 427 teams – 231 women's teams and 196 men's teams – that earned All-Academic honors. Other GLIAC women's all-academic teams are Ashland (3.10), Michigan Tech (3.61), Northern Michigan (3.53), Northwood (3.35), Saginaw Valley State (3.48) and Wayne State (3.77).
GLIAC men's all-academic teams were Ashland (3.15), Michigan Tech (3.41), Northwood (3.45), Saginaw Valley State (3.28), Parkside (3.36) and Wayne State (3.24).
Berger, who won the NCAA individual title, is a physician assistant studies graduate student. She ended her season with three consecutive victories that included the NCAA Championships, the Midwest Region Championships and the GLIAC Championships. She was the third athlete in program history to win an NCAA individual cross country title and the third athlete in program history to earn the Scholar Athlete of the Year award. She joins Kendra Foley (2015 and 2016) and Jessica Janecke (2014) as honorees. GVSU athletes have now won the award in four of the past five seasons.
Twenty men and 21 women representing seven GLIAC schools earned USTFCCCA individual all-academic recognition.