HOLLAND -- For an precedented 15th consecutive year, both Hope College cross country teams have been honored for academic excellence.

The College Cross Country Coaches Association recently announced its Team Academic All-Americans for the fall 2004 season. As they have for every year since 1990, coach Mark Northuis' men's and women's teams are each on the honor roll. Northuis has coached the Hope cross country program since 1988.

Hope is the only college in all of NCAA Division III to achieve this honor for both of its teams (men and women) for 15 consecutive years.

To qualify for the award, a team needed a minimum cumulative team grade point average of 3.10 on a 4.0 scale and also have competed at an NCAA III regional meet.

The women's team ranked 51st among NCAA Division III squads with a cumulative 3.41 GPA. The leading women's team is Illinois College with a 3.70 GPA.

The men's team ranked 49th among NCAA Division III colleges with a cumulative 3.20 grade point average. The leading men's team is Eastern Mennonite, Va. with a 3.57 GPA.

In addition, four Hope athletes received individual Academic All-America status for having a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Freshman Anne Hoekstra of Kalamazoo, Mich.  (Loy Norrix HS) and senior Kyle Morrison of Niles, Mich. (Niles HS) were among only 35 runners in all of Division III to achieve a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Other Hope athletes honored were senior Tina Pike of Rochester, Minn. (Century HS), 3.67 and junior Heather Kamps of North Muskegon, Mich. (North Muskegon HS), 3.62.