The 2016 Hope College women's cross country team and six of its runners proved themselves to be among the nation's elite in the classroom and on the course last fall.

The Flying Dutch picked up United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors for the 27th time in a row with a 3.57 collective grade point average. They were among 216 NCAA Division III women’s teams to achieve the distinction this season.

Six of head coach Mark Northuis’s Hope runners were among 374 Division III women’s runners to be named USTFCCCA All-Academic: seniors Erin Herrmann of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS), Emily Joosse of Chillicothe, Ohio (Zane Trace), and Jessica Gaines of Sterling Heights, Michigan (Utica Academy); junior Alissa Frazee of Watervliet, Michigan (Home School); and sophomores Emily Hamilton of Naperville, Illinois (Naperville North) and Avery Lowe of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon).

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.

Herrmann was a regional champion and individual national runner-up.

Hope placed 10th at the NCAA Division III Championships, third in the Great Lakes Regional and first in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association last season.

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