GVSU Women Win Program of the Year for Fourth Straight Time

GVSU Women Win Program of the Year for Fourth Straight Time

Provided by GVSU

NEW ORLEANS - The Grand Valley State women's track and field/cross country program has been named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association "Program of the Year" for the fourth-consecutive time. The Lakers finished third at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships and then swept the track and field national titles for the second straight year.

The USTFCCCA Program of the Year award is given to an institution that had the best combined team finishes in each of the NCAA’s cross country/track & field sports in a given academic year.

GVSU (five points) won their fourth straight women’s Program of the Year crown while Adams State (nine points) finished runner-up for also the fourth straight year. Adams State placed fourth at the cross country championships, second in indoor track & field, and third in outdoor track & field. Western State, with 16.5 points, placed third in the award standings for the second straight year.

In the fall, GVSU took third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Rachel Clark (Pinckney, Mich.), Allyson Winchester (Wayland, Mich./Middleville), Callie Clark (Pinckney, Mich.), Monica Kinney (Walker, Mich./West Catholic), and Rebecca Winchester (Wayland, Mich./Middleville) all scored in the top 30.

The Lakers won their second-straight NCAA indoor track & field crown by a huge margin, taking the crown with 94 points over nearest challenger Adams State (51). GVSU had five event champions, including Rachel Patterson (Rochester, Mich./Miami (Ohio)) in the 5,000, Kristen Hixson (Remus, Mich./Chippewa Hills) in the pole vault, Lauren Buresh (Stanwood, Mich./Morley-Stanwood) in the shot put, Sam Lockhart (Lansing, Mich./Sexton) in the weight throw, and the distance medley relay.

Once again, GVSU swept track & field titles, topped off by a national outdoor crown captured this spring. The Lakers scored 90 points to hold off Lincoln (Mo.) who took runner-up honors with 79 points. Patterson won the 10,000 meters, Betsy Graney (Harper Woods, Mich./William and Mary) was the winner of the steeplechase, Hixson again won the pole vault, and Liz Murphy (Washington, Mich./Romeo) took top honors in the hammer throw.

The NCAA Division II Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Division II 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 each NCAA Division II Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken