NEW ORLEANS — For the ninth consecutive year Adams State University has earned the NCAA Division II Damon Martin Men's Program of the Year award. The Grizzlies have won the coveted title every year since the award's inception in 2008.
The honor was publicly announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Grizzlies amassed nine points during the 2016-17 athletic season in regard to the scoring criteria for the Program of the Year. The Grizzlies finished first at the NCAA DII Cross Country Championships, fourth at the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships, and 16th at the NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
In the final Program of the Year standings, the Grizzlies produced a point total of 21 to fend off Grand Valley State (24 points), Missouri Southern (26.5), and Academy of Art (35.5).
The award's winner remained uncertain leading into the Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Pitted against eventual second place finisher, Grand Valley State, the Grizzlies had to finish no worse than five spots lower than the Lakers at the outdoor championships. After the completion of the national meet, Adams State finished 16th with Grand Valley State in 13th.
A close 1-2 finish was also the case for the women's Program of the Year honor. In that race, the Adams State women placed second overall in the standings with the Grand Valley State women ultimately winning. The winner was determined by which program finished higher at the outdoor championships. At the meet, the Grizzlies placed third with 43 points as the Lakers finished with 44 points for second place.
The dramatic ending was set in motion by an ASU national indoor title and a runner-up cross country finish. Meanwhile, the Lakers won a cross country title and finished second at the indoor national meet.
The Adams State women placed second with six points with Grand Valley State at five. Western State (16 points) took third.