The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that Luther College track athlete Tricia Serres has been awarded a 2016 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The NCAA awards a one-time, non-renewable educational grant of $7,500 to 58 student-athletes—29 men and 29 women—who competed in spring sports.
To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must be nominated by his or her athletic department, have an overall grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete must have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student. The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women.
Serres, a biology major, graduated in May with a 3.60 grade point average. She will attend Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, working toward the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
"Tricia has been an exceptional student-athlete during her four years at Luther,” said Rob Larson, Luther vice president and faculty athletic representative. “She is a great example of a student who has excelled at balancing her efforts in the classroom and on the athletic field.”
Serres is the most decorated track and cross country athlete in Luther history, earning 11 All-American honors: four during the indoor track season, five for the outdoor season and two in cross country.
At the NCAA Division III Indoor Track Championships, she was a three-time All-American in the mile placing fourth twice (2013, 2016) and was the national runner-up as a sophomore (2014). She also placed third in the 3,000-meter run (2014).
At the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track Championships, she is the only Luther athlete to earn All-American honors in the 1,500-meter run four times, which included a runner-up finish as a sophomore (2014) and capturing the national title as a junior (2015). She was also the national runner-up in the 5,000-meter run (2015).
She dominated the Iowa Conference, capturing three indoor titles in the mile, one in the 3,000; three in the distance medley relay and two in the 4 x 800. Outdoors, she was crowned the league champion four times in the 1,500; twice in the 5,000; once in the 800 and once in the 4 x 800. She was named the Iowa Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Most Valuable Performer in 2015 and 2016.
Academically, Serres is a three-time Iowa Conference Spring Sports Academic honoree (3.50 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale) and a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III Academic All-America honoree.
Luther's long tradition of NCAA postgraduate scholars dates back to 1966. Serres is Luther’s 39th postgraduate scholar and the 15th in the past 15 years to receive this award.
Serres, a 2012 graduate of Platteville High School, is the daughter of Rob and Heidi Serres of Platteville, Wisconsin.