Kendra Foley, a senior from Grand Valley State University, was named the class of 2017 DII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for cross country as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda. This is her second nomination after earning the honor for cross country for the class of 2015 during her sophomore year.
She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year honor. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the CWSA program, now in its 41st year.
Foley, a native of Noblesville, Ind., captured the 2016 NCAA DII Cross Country Individual Championship title en route to leading GVSU to the team title. It is the fifth team title for GVSU and the second individual championship by Foley, who captured the title in 2014, and is the first woman in Division II history to win national titles in non-consecutive years.
A four-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American, she is also a two-time USTFCCCA Runner of the Year after being named the Doris Brown Heritage Award winner this year. She was named the 2016 GLIAC Athlete of the Year and is a three-time All-GLIAC first team honoree.
"I am honored to be nominated for such a prestigious award,” stated Foley. “This is a credit to Grand Valley as a whole. The athletic department and track program provide the support for their athletes to be successful. Our women’s team faced several barriers of adversity this season, and this win is a testament to all the weeks of hard work, but it really came down to the confidence we had in ourselves and pride in our program."
"Kendra has established herself as one of the best cross country runners in the history of Division II women’s cross country with two individual titles, runner-up finish, to go with her 11th place finish as a freshman,” said head coach Jerry Baltes. “When the gun went off at each of her NCAA Championship Cross Country races Kendra was ready to compete at the highest level.”
“Kendra has embraced the work load necessary to reach the heights she has obtained. In addition she has been an incredible leader in our program over the last couple of years. I am proud to have had the opportunity to coach Kendra throughout her career and look forward to her having a great senior indoor and outdoor track and field season.”
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 41 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.