Berger of Grand Valley State Named the DII Honda Award Finalist for Cross Country

Photo courtesy of Slippery Rock Athletics
Photo courtesy of Slippery Rock Athletics

Sarah Berger, a graduate student from Grand Valley State University, was named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year finalist for Cross Country as announced today by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

Berger is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year. 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 43rd year.

“It is such an honor to be nominated for Honda DII Athlete of the Year, “ said Berger. “It’s a great culmination to my collegiate career, and I’m so thankful for all the coaches, teammates, and other support that have helped me get here throughout the years."

Berger was the 2018 DII NCAA Cross Country Individual Champion and led her team to the championship title as well. For her efforts, she was named the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) DII Women’s Athlete of the Year. She is the third cross country athlete in school history to earn the Women’s National Athlete of the Year honor.

After finishing runner-up in last year’s NCAA Championship, Berger led the way for the Lakers in every race this season en route to this year’s NCAA title. She was named the GLIAC and the NCAA Midwest Region Athletes of the year after first-place finishes in both events.

“Sarah’s nomination for the Honda DII Athlete of the Year is an incredible honor for her and our GVSU program,” stated head coach Jerry Baltes, the 2018 USTFCCCA Coach of the Year. “Sarah has been outstanding as a leader on the course and off, and she has been a wonderful teammate to everyone in our program in her short time in our program as a graduate-student.”

All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 24, 2019, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 43 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.

About Honda

Honda seeks to be a company that society wants to exist, creating products and technologies that improve the lives of people while minimizing the environmental impacts of its products and business operations to ensure a sustainable future.

Honda also is committed to making positive contributions to the communities where it does business, conducting socially responsible business practices and promoting diversity in its workforce. From Honda’s involvement in STEM education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to its support of pediatric brain tumor research and volunteer efforts by Honda associates, including environmental clean-up activities, Honda believes in giving back to the communities where its associates live and work.

Learn more at