At an elite institution like Amherst, we are surrounded by excellence every day. We pride ourselves on excellent students, professors, resources, administrators, coaches and teams. It seems only fitting, then, that Amherst athletics recently signed a five-year contract with Under Armour and BSN Sports, two companies that in the words of Athletic Director Don Faulstick, share Amherst’s “commitment to excellence.”

The Amherst women’s golf team returns for a year of changes beginning with its new head coach, Elizabeth Davis. Davis comes to the Pioneer Valley with ample enthusiasm and prodigious playing experience. A 2015 graduate of the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor (UMHB), she helped lead the team to a 2013 NCAA Division III national team championship. Off the field, Davis finished at UMHB with a Master’s degree in Sports Administration.

After sending two runners to the NCAA Division III National Championship race last season, the Amherst women’s cross country team is looking to build on that success and grow stronger as a program for its 2016 season. The young squad graduated three members of the class of 2016 and welcomed seven first-years to the class of 2020.

After its third place finish at the 2016 NESCAC championships, the Amherst men’s golf team returns to the course for the fall 2016 season with fresh talent looking to jumpstart a record-breaking year. In a pivotal move by the program, the men’s golf team will be doubling in size for its 2016-2017 season. Losing two members of the class of 2016, Patrick Arena and James Line, brought the squad down to six returning players, but they will be adding seven new first-years to round out the team at an impressive 13.

Women’s basketball continued to impress under the leadership of NESCAC coach of the year G.P. Gromacki, who improved his outstanding record to 262-24 over nine seasons at Amherst. The women finished 30-2 on the year, 9-1 in conference and made yet another NCAA postseason run, falling only in the Final Four round to a talented Thomas More squad. The women dominated in regular season play, winning by margins of up to 58 points — they won their first game of the season against Albert Magnus 97-39.

The men’s soccer team had a fairytale season, going 18-1-2 overall en route to the program’s first-ever national championship. After falling to Brandeis in the third round of the NCAA tournament in their 2014 season, the squad was back and hungry for more before graduating one of the most talented and decorated classes that the program has ever seen.

Under the leadership of Division III coach of the year Justin Serpone, the purple and white came back from a goal deficit, netting two unanswered to claim the national championship over Loras College.

The men’s track and field team had a busy weekend, competing on Friday afternoon in the non-scoring Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College and the next day in the nine-team UMass-Amherst Minuteman Invitational.

On Friday, the impressive Amherst long-distance runners were on display, with junior Steven Lucey battling to a fourth place finish in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:57.87.