Dominance: For the 25th time, GVSU captures GLIAC President’s Cup

<p>GVL / Emily Frye </p>
<p>GVSU Track and Field take the GLIAC Championship title for both men’s and women’s, adding points to the university en route to the president's cup</p>

GVL / Emily Frye 

GVSU Track and Field take the GLIAC Championship title for both men’s and women’s, adding points to the university en route to the president's cup

Kellen Voss

When it comes to the subject of dominance in the GLIAC, the conversation has to start with Grand Valley State, because they have the hardware to prove it. It was announced on May 29 that GVSU has captured the GLIAC Presidents’ Cup Trophy for the 25th time in the prestigious school’s history.

GVSU won the award for the 20th consecutive year, mostly due to the the Lakers’ 13 GLIAC titles in the 2017-18 athletics seasons. They finished with 172 points, with 104 from women’s sports and 68 from men’s sports.

To win this award, the dominance of GVSU athletics has spanned across all sports. As athletic director Keri Becker states, the performance in both men’s and women’s sports has been impressive for GVSU.

“You can’t win the Presidents’ Cup by only being good at a few sports,” Becker said. “We’ve had success in both men’s and women’s sports, and that’s very important for the university.”

GVSU women’s teams captured either regular season or tournament titles in cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, golf, lacrosse and softball. The men didn’t slouch this summer either, claiming titles in cross country, swimming and diving, and both indoor and outdoor track and field.

While Becker was adamant about crediting the student athletes for winning all these titles, she credits the coaches as well for being leaders to these young people on and off the field.

“Our coaching staffs are the ones recruiting these kids who perform athletically and academically,” Becker said. “It’s because of our staff giving our athletes the chance to succeed that we’ve been so successful.”

GVSU has built an amazing athletic program in Allendale, but it wasn’t built in one day. The determination and mentality shown from GVSU athletes, coaches and fans has been the reason for all the accolades.

“We’re just trying to make a difference in our student athletes’ lives, two hours a day, every day for the rest of our lives,” Becker said. “They’re going to perform well because of the competitive edge we’ve created. We wanted to create a competitive gap, and that’s how we’ve been dominant.”

Because of the continued success of GVSU athletics over the past several decades, it’s not crazy to say that Grand Valley State has been a bit of a dynasty when it comes to Division II athletics, and when it comes to the building of this dynasty, Becker and the Lakers can’t forget about the support of all the loyal students, fans and boosters that have cheered for the school for so long.

“Given the success we’ve had over the past 25 years, I’d say we’ve been pretty dominant,” Becker said. “We’ve been successful on a national level as well, and that success comes from not only our athletes and coaches, but also from our university staff and all that support GVSU athletics.”

One of the hardest things to do once an individual or team wins a title is to avoid complacency and keep the success rolling for multiple years. GVSU has been able to do that with a recipe for success and athletic teams that are always evolving to avoid being left in the dust.

“It’s easy to say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, but coaches are competitive by nature and will always look for the next way to succeed,” Becker said. “I want to have an environment here for coaches to evolve and be better for our student athletes. Because of the support from our students coming to games, athletics are part of the fabric of our university, and I love that.”

There will be a lot of turnover this offseason for GVSU with many great athletes graduating and a few coaches rumored to be leaving, but because of the dynasty formed here in Allendale, GVSU should be more than capable of reloading and revamping for the future.

“We need to keep continuity in our staff and our mentality,” Becker said. “We also need to develop our young staff, because there’s no better place to find the next great head coach then from within this great program.”