Three GNAC Teams In Top-15 Of Directors' Cup Standings

Thursday, December 24, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Three Great Northwest Athletic Conference schools, more than any other conference in Division II, end the fall seasons in top-15 of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.

Western Washington finished the fall in third place in the standings with 239.5 points. The point value is determined by a school’s national championships placing in a number of sports. Alaska Anchorage sits in in fifth place with 205.5 points while Seattle Pacific ended the fall in 15th place with 160 points.

The rankings quantify the national success of all 307 NCAA Division II programs. Standings will be updated again after the winter championships season in April and finalized at the end of spring championships competition in June. The GNAC was the only Division II conference to have three teams in the top-15.

Western Washington opened in third thanks to a trio of top-six finishes by the school’s fall program. The Vikings’ women’s soccer and volleyball programs both finished third in their individual sports (83 points) after advancing to the national semifinals. The women’s cross country program finished sixth with 73.5 points thanks to their sixth place finish at November’s national meet.

“It was a remarkable season and we are very proud of all of our student-athletes and coaches for this achievement,” said Western Washington athletic director Steve Card. “We look forward to our winter and spring sports adding to this fantastic start.”

Alaska Anchorage earned 83 points with their men’s cross country team, which placed third at the Division II championships, and 70.5 points from the women’s cross country program, which finished eighth. The Seawolves’ volleyball program contributed 50 points, placing 17th in the rankings after advancing to the West Region semifinals.

“Being in the top-five out of 300-plus Division II institutions is yet another example of the success of our student-athletes and team are having on the national level,” said Alaska Anchroage athletic director Keith Hackett. “We are pleased to represent UAA and the Anchorage community, and we are grateful for to Learfield Sports and the Directors’ Cup program for the visibility they give Seawolf Athletics and the many outstanding programs and athletes who compete at the Division II level.”

Seattle Pacific sits in 15th thanks to the success of their women’s cross country and men’s and women’s programs. The women’s cross country team finished 15th at the NCAA Division II Championships, earning 60 points. Both soccer programs finished 17th in the rankings, earning 50 points apiece.

Grand Valley State leads the Directors’ Cup standings with 378 points and Colorado School of Mines sits second with 326 points.

The Learfield Directors’ Cup is a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are based on each insitution’s NCAA finish in up to 14 sports – seven women’s and seven men’s. Simon Fraser led the GNAC in last year’s final standings with a 26th place finish.