MIAC places 11 schools in Director's Cup standings, St. Thomas in top 10

MIAC places 11 schools in Director's Cup standings, St. Thomas in top 10

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The 2013-14 athletic season is officially over after the conclusion of the final NCAA Division III championships of the spring season, and the final Division III Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings were announced Wednesday by the National Association of Collegiate Director's of Athletics (NACDA). The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) fared well in the national all-sports competition, with 11 of its 13 institutions earning a place in the rankings, and the University of St. Thomas leading the way with a ninth-place finish.

Of the MIAC's 11 schools to qualify for the standings thanks to postseason performance, led by the ninth-ranked Tommies, four were featured in the top 100, and eight of the 11 cracked the top 200. The MIAC institutions had an average score of 226.2, and an average place of 133.

The Director's Cup measures each school's performance on the national stage by awarding points for postseason results to each institution in up to 18 sports - nine men's and nine women's. The all-sports competition began in 1995-96, and was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today.

St. Thomas scored a total of 765.50 points to finish in the top 10, thanks to an especially strong finish to the 2013-14 season. The Tommies scored 332 points this spring, led by 83 points each from baseball and softball third-place finishes, and 75 points from their fifth-place women's outdoor track performance.

St. Olaf was the next MIAC school in the standings at No. 31 with a total of 423.00 points. The Oles received 51 points this spring from men's outdoor track, and were greatly boosted by their men's cross country championship in the fall. Fellow Northfield school Carleton was next with 350 points in 52nd place. The Knights received 69 points from women's track and field this spring, and 50 from women's tennis.

Gustavus was the other MIAC team to crack the top 100 in 93rd place with 215 points. The Gusties received a 64-point boost from its men's tennis team's trip to the third round. Concordia just missed a spot in the top 100 after getting 55.5 points from its women's track and field team, and the Cobbers' total of 184.50 was good for 107th place. Augsburg also had a great season, racking up 154.50 points to finish 130th.

Bethel (157th) and Macalester (172nd) also finished among the top 200 schools in Division three after getting solid spring showings from their men's and women's track and field teams, respectively. The Royals ended up with 124.00 total points, while Macalester scored 106.00. Saint Benedict (209th, 75 points), Saint John's (225th, 65 points) and Saint Mary's (282nd, 25 points) were the final three teams to appear in the rankings.

The MIAC was one of just two conference to place 11 institutions in the final Director's Cup standings, along with the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Among the NESCAC's 11 schools featured was first-place Williams and four other top-10 programs, and the 11 institutions had an average place of 61. The Middle Atlantic Conferences placed 17 teams in the standings, but it is a combination of two sub-conferences - the Commonwealth and Freedom - that each have an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Only two other conference - the Centennial Conference and the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) had 10 teams appear in the final Director's Cup standings, and three others - the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference (NACC), the North Coast Athletic Conference, and USA South - had nine schools qualify for the standings.

Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on the NACDA's Director's Cup web site. The MIAC also sponsors an All-Sports Competition, which measures each school's performance in conference regular-season play and MIAC championship events, with St. Thomas winning both the men's and women's titles in 2013-14.

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2013-14 Division III Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings
(MIAC Institutions only)

9. St. Thomas - 765.50 
31. St. Olaf - 423.00
52. Carleton - 350.00
93. Gustavus - 215.50
107. Concordia - 184.50
130. Augsburg - 154.50
157. Bethel - 124.00
172. Macalester - 106.00
209. Saint Benedict - 75.00
225. Saint John's - 65.00
282. Saint Mary's - 25.00