Jul 29th, 2016 @ 4:11 pm | Author: Tisa Mason, Ed.D., CAE
With the Summer Olympics quickly approaching, I have been thinking a lot about drive, determination, and character—features easily attributed to our own Viking student-athletes, many of whom will return to campus very soon to begin training and preparing to perform their personal best “in the classroom and on the field.” I really admire our student-athletes, and I am thankful for an outstanding coaching staff, caring faculty, and a community which believes wholeheartedly in our students.

It is not easy being a student-athlete. They necessarily rely heavily on well-developed time-management skills to help prioritize their hectic schedules as they attempt to balance classes, studies, workouts, practices, games, team travel, internships, campus leadership responsibilities, and for many, jobs, less socializing, and not a whole lot of “me time.” But in the end, at VCSU, that drive, determination, and character pays off. But don’t just take my word for it; check out the 2015–16 evidence below.

• Among North Star Athletic Association conference schools, VCSU had the highest percentage of teams (12 of 14 VCSU athletic teams) earn the NAIA Scholar-Team Award, which requires a minimum 3.0 team grade point average: women’s basketball, 3.68 GPA; men’s cross country, 3.67; men’s golf, 3.49; volleyball, 3.35; softball, 3.32; women’s indoor track, 3.29; men’s indoor track, 3.28; men’s outdoor track, 3.28; women’s outdoor track, 3.23; women’s cross country, 3.20; women’s golf, 3.18; and baseball, 3.02.

• Our women’s basketball team ranked third among all NAIA Division II women’s basketball teams with a 3.68 GPA.

• The VCSU men’s cross country team ranked second among all NAIA programs with a 3.67 GPA.

• The VCSU men’s golf team was eighth in the nation among NAIA men’s golf teams with a 3.49 GPA.

• The Viking baseball team earned the 2015–16 American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award.

• The VCSU men’s basketball team was co-conference champion and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament Sweet 16 for the second time in history.

• This spring the track and field program broke four indoor and two outdoor school records and won four individual conference championships, and freshman Seri Geisler earned the NAIA national title in women’s javelin.

• VCSU’s softball team won a school record 40 games, broke eight team school records and broke or tied five individual school records.

• Viking cross country had three national championship qualifiers in the fall.

• Other highlights included 43 North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) all-conference athletes, 26 NSAA Players of the Week, 2 NAIA National Players of the Week, and 24 individual NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Yes, drive, determination, and character are great words to describe our Olympians and our VCSU student-athletes—and their success makes it another reason why it is a great day to be a Viking!