The 2016 Hope College men’s cross country team has claimed United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors for the 26th time in 27 years.

The Flying Dutchmen, under the direction of head coach Mark Northuis, earned their among 173 NCAA Division III teams by recording a collective grade point average of 3.31.

Junior Ben Pederson of Mount Prospect, Illinois (Mount Prospect HS) received USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition.

For a team to be considered for this distinction, it must have competed and compiled a team score at a NCAA Regional Meet. The team must also have a minimum team GPA of 3.10 on a 4.0 scale.

In order to be named USTFCCCA All-Academic, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and finish in the top-25 percent at their respective regional. Pederson came in 39th at the Great Lakes Regional.

Hope placed ninth at the Great Lakes Regional the Flying Dutchmen hosted last November and fourth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings.

Hope’s women’s cross country team also achieved the USTFCCCA distinction.