Alaska Anchorage, Western Washington Among Cup Leaders

Thursday, December 22, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington are among the elite programs in Division II according to the fall standings for the Learfield Directors’ Cup.

Both schools performed well during the fall to solidify their places in the standings, which is based upon an institution’s performance in NCAA championships. Alaska Anchorage sits in fourth place with 235.5 points while Western Washington is ranked sixth with 214 points.

As a conference, the GNAC saw five schools place in the top-100 in the standings. Simon Fraser sits in 24th after the fall with 148.5 points. Central Washington is 62nd with 75 points and Northwest Nazarene is tied for 100th with 50 points. The five teams in the top-100 is the best performance of the three West Region conferences.

Alaska Anchorage’s points came on the strength of a runner-up finish in volleyball (90 points), a fifth place showing in men’s cross country (75 points) and an eighth place finish for women’s cross country (70.5 points). The Seawolves won GNAC championships in all three sports.

“Once again our student-athletes and teams are performing at a high level,” said Alaska Anchorage athletic director Keith Hackett. “The success of our fall sports is a tribute to our athletes and coaches.”

Western Washington was buoyed by the success of its Division II national champion women’s soccer team, worth 100 points in the standings. The Vikings were further bolstered by a West Region runner-up finish for the volleyball team (64 points) and a second round national tournament appearance for men’s soccer (50 points). The Vikings won the GNAC regular season and championship titles and earned second place regular season finishes in both men’s soccer and volleyball.

“We are very proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their accomplishments from the fall sports season,” said Western Washington athletic director Steve Card. “It was an amazing fall and we look forward to our programs carrying the success through the rest of the year.”

Perennial Division II power Grand Valley State leads the Directors’ Cup standings with 350 points, thanks to a national championship in women’s cross country and second place finishes in men’s cross country and women’s soccer. Colorado Mines is second with 324 points and LIU Post is third with 257 points.

Alaska Anchorage finished eighth in the 2015-16 Directors’ Cup standings, the best finish in school history and the third best finish ever by a GNAC athletic program. Western Washington placed sixth in 2009-10 and seventh in 2010-11.

The Learfield Directors’ Cup is a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each insitution’s finish in NCAA championships. The Directors’ Cup Committee is reviewing the scoring structure for 2016-17, which will be finalized prior to the winter sports standings.