BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The Ohio Valley Conference announced that both the SIUE men's and women's track and field teams have won the 2014-15 OVC Team Sportsmanship Award.
The award is voted on by OVC track and field student-athletes and coaches and given to the team who best exhibits standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the NCAA and the OVC.
"Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories," said Beth DeBauche, OVC commissioner. "The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics. In receiving this prestigious honor other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life."
This is the first time the SIUE men's or women's track and field teams has won the Team Sportsmanship Award in the 10th year of the award which is given annually.
"We expect our athletes to be accountable for their performance," said head coach Eileen McAllister. "We expect them to see others' performance as a positive challenge and not as a distraction. It's not easy, especially in the heat of the moment. It's a more productive perspective on competition by teaching responsibility."
The SIUE men's team finished third in the 2015 OVC Championship while the women's team finished seventh.
Senior La'Derrick Ward will be representing SIUE in the long jump Wednesday at the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Oregon. Ward recorded the best mark in the NCAA West Preliminaries at 26 feet, 8.5 inches, which broke his previous school record.