GVSU and Déjà Vu: DII Women’s Program of the Year Trophy Again Goes to Lakers

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

May 31, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – The women’s program at Grand Valley State University of Allendale, Mich., are again winners of the USTFCCCA Division II Program of the Year, capturing the title for the fourth-consecutive time. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the Lakers swept indoor and outdoor track & field titles for the second-straight year and placed third at the national cross country championships. 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.

FINAL Standings (PDF) | Program of the Year Award History

Jerry Baltes is the head coach of the Lakers and he is assisted by Lou Andreadis, Steve Jones, Nick Polk, Keith Roberts, Jr., Mandi Zemba, and Tessa Sibley.

In the fall, GVSU took third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Rachel Clark, Allyson Winchester, Callie Clark, Monica Kinney, and Rebecca Winchester 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 (5000), Kristen Hixson (pole vault), Lauren Buresh (shot put), Sam Lockhart (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. Rachel Patterson won the 10,000 meters, Betsy Graney was the winner of the steeplechase, Kristen Hixson again won the pole vault, and Liz Murphy took top honors in the hammer throw.

GVSU (5 points) won their fourth-straight women’s Program of the Year crown while Adams State (9 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 16½ points, placed third in the award standings for the second-straight year.

Augustana (S.D.), the NCAA Cross Country Champions, took seventh in the final tally.

A total of 12 teams, including U-Mary, Ferris State, Ashland, Shippensburg, Saginaw Valley State, Western Washington, Bentley, and Pittsburg State, earned national finishes in each of the three sports this academic year.

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.

Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5 FINAL)
Women’s Division II

1

Grand Valley State

5 pts

2

Adams State

9 pts

3

Western State

16½ pts

4

U-Mary

28 pts

5

Ferris State

36 pts