Hope country runner Michelle Kerr has earned the school's second NCAA Elite 89 Award in three days.
The junior from Dearborn (Divine Child HS) was honored Friday during the banquet for the NCAA Division III Women's and Men's Cross Country Championships in Hanover, Ind.
"It is a huge honor to receive the Elite 89 award," Kerr said. "This award is a reflection on Hope College because I could never have received it without the effort each runner put forth that led us to qualify for Nationals and without the support of professors, mentors, and classmates who have challenged me to learn and do my best."
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average
participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships. All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions.
Kerr, who carries a 4.0 GPA, joins volleyball player Jayne Kessel (2013) and women's swimmer Chelsea Wiese (2012) as Elite 89 winners at Hope.
Kerr is a nursing major.
"Michelle is a great example of what it means to be a D-III student-athlete," Hope coach Mark Northuis said. "She excels in the classroom as a nursing major and has greatly improved as a runner. Last year she was an alternate on our NCAA team and this year she finished sixth for Hope in the regional meet.
"Her team-first attitude helps the whole team develop to their full potential, individually and corporately. She is a true joy to have at Hope College."