Jordan Kremer and his St. Ambrose men's track and field teammates are accustomed to leading the pack, and not just on the track.
Coached by Dan Tomlin '05, '10 MBA, the team also has taken the lead at a local grade school, where last fall they organized and conducted a day of fun built around fitness. They have led while wielding rakes in the leaf-filled yards of elderly neighbors near campus, and while standing at a central-city door to deliver a box of food that helped a needy family have a Thanksgiving celebration.
Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that the SAU squad was recognized with the 2013 Champions of Character team award at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Indoor Track and Field Championships in March. It is an award that honors excellence in five core values: commitment to service, sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and respect.
"I think it speaks not only for our team," Kremer said. "As athletes, we try to be examples of what the entire university stands for. "
That shows. Although the indoor track squad is the first SAU crew to win a team award, St. Ambrose has been honored as a Five-Star Institution every year since the NAIA introduced its Champions of Character program in 2000.