Jan. 26, 2020
NEW ORLEANS, La. --- Biola University was honored on Wednesday as for the first time ever the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named a men and women's NAIA program of the year.
""We are incredibly proud of Coach Henning and our Biola cross country and track and field student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Dr. Bethany Miller. "To be named the inaugural NAIA program of the year is a such an honor, and one that means a great deal to our Athletics Department."
Biola's women's cross country and track & field programs' finishes at the NAIA national meet earned the Eagles this prestigious national ranking from a very well respected institution in the collegiate track & field world.
The Eagles' women's contingents brought home a third-place finish in cross country and a pair of top-10 finishes at the indoor and outdoor track & field championships to be named the top women's program in the nation.
"I am very proud of the ladies and all of their hard work this year. We got off to a great start in cross country with a 3rd place finish, three All-Americans, and a National Champion," said Head Coach Sean Henning. " Everyone in our program had a hand in the success we had this year, whether it was a thrower who grabbed a couple of points at the conference meet or a distance runner who won a national championship. We had many contributing parts to the success of our program this year. I also want to thank our coaching staff for all of their hard work and investment in our student-athletes. They have done a terrific job of supporting me, believing in my vision for the program, and being strong in areas where I am weak. I am very thankful for all of them."
Biola ended in a tie with Aquinas (Mich.) in the overall standings, but the Eagles earned the win because of higher finishes in cross country and outdoor track & field. The two higher finishes gave Biola the title and pushed Aquinas into second place with Carroll (Mont.) coming in third (just one point behind the Eagles and Saints).
"What is really special about this group of student-athletes is their campus involvement, high academic achievement, and focus on character development and teamwork," said Miller. "They have balanced all of this while earning success in competition. This demonstrates the leadership of Coach Henning and his staff, and the way the coaches have poured into student-athletes and their experience at Biola. We couldn't be more excited!"
Each institution is awarded a point total for each national finish (1st means 1 point, 34th means 34 points, etc.). Those points for each of the three championships are added together and the program with the lowest point total wins the honor. Biola finished with 19 points for the 2015-16 academic year. This was a 68-point improvement over 2014-15 and illustrates the huge impact Henning had on the teams during his first season at the helm.
Visit http://www.ustfccca.org/2016/06/featured/indiana-tech-men-biola-calif-women-capture-inaugural-naia-program-of-the-year-awards for more information on this national award.
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