The 2012-13 Hope College men’s and women’s track & field teams have been recognized among the top scholar teams in NCAA Division III, while two members of the Flying Dutch are top scholar athletes nationally.

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) have honored the Flying Dutch and Flying Dutchmen. Both teams earned the distinction as a result of being the highest-placing teams with at least a 3.10 cumulative grade point average at the most recent Division III indoor and outdoor national championships, respectively.

The Flying Dutch were one of 148 teams honored by the USTFCCCA after posting a team grade point average of 3.50. The Flying Dutchmen were one of 80 lauded after posting a 3.17 team GPA.

Individually, junior Sheri McCormack (West Ottawa HS) and senior Sarah Venlet of Zeeland (Holland Christian HS) are two of 367 females receiving All-Academic status from the USTFCCCA.

Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards are determined from among those who earned All-Academic status and placed highest in individual events at the most recent NCAA Championships. Those who earn multiple individual championship titles rank higher in the tie-breaking process, and cumulative GPA is weighed as the final tiebreaker to establish a winner. Separate awards are given to track athletes and field athletes for the indoor and outdoor seasons, resulting in four categories.

McCormack is a Spanish major who recorded a 3.90 GPA. She finished 14th at the Division III Outdoor Championships in the 1,500-meter run.

Venlet is a Nursing major who posted a 3.80 GPA. She placed eighth at the NCAA outdoor finals in the 400 hurdles, becoming the second Hope female athlete to achieve All-America status in the event and first since Julie Darling in 1987. 

Earlier, the Hope women’s track & field team claimed the MIAA Team GPA award.