Spring Surge Leads CMS to 12th-Place Finish in Final Learfield Directors' Cup Standings

Spring Surge Leads CMS to 12th-Place Finish in Final Learfield Directors' Cup Standings

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps athletic department finished in the top 15 in the NCAA Division III Learfield Directors' Cup standings for the eighth straight year, using a strong spring to finish 12th in the final rankings for the 2018-19 season.

The Directors' Cup program honors institutions that achieve success in many sports, and awards points based on a team's finish at the NCAA Championships. For the second year in a row, CMS had more points in the spring (434) than any other Division III athletic department, spread out over eight of its programs, raising its final total for 2018-19 to 716.

CMS had four programs in the top 10 of their NCAA competitions in the spring, led by runner-up finishes from men's and women's tennis (90 points each), a fourth-place finish from women's golf (80) and an eighth-place finish from men's golf (70.5). Among Division III programs, Wesleyan was second in the spring with 400 points, and Emory was third with 396. 

Although the spring season was when the Stags and Athenas were most dominant, success across the entire athletic department enabled CMS to continue its tradition of high placement in the Directors' Cup standings. A total of 14 programs scored points out of the 19 programs with NCAA Division III Championship opportunities available (men's and women's water polo will add a Division III Championship this coming year to raise that figure to all 21 programs). 

In the fall, CMS women's cross country and men's cross country both qualified for nationals and combined for 103 points, with the Athenas tallying 56 with an 18th place finish and the Stags adding 47.  Volleyball added 50 points after winning the SCIAC Championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while football picked up 25 points by qualifying for the NCAAs for the first time in program history. 

The winter saw the men's and women's swimming and diving teams produce identical 22nd place finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships, with each program adding 52 points to the CMS total. After the fall and winter seasons ended, CMS stood in 31st place, but the spring season proved to vault the department back up to the top 15, where it has been every year since 2011-12. 

In addition to the four top 10 finishers in the spring, CMS also had 50 points from the women's lacrosse team, which earned a bye into the second round of the NCAA Championship after capturing its third straight SCIAC title, and 25 points from softball, which earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after reaching as high as No. 5 in the national rankings. The men's and women's track and field teams also had All-American finishers at the NCAA Division III Championships to add a combined 28.5 points.  

CMS was potentially kept from an even higher score by some hard luck in the NCAA selection process. Men's soccer (15-2-1) and women's basketball (24-3) both had dominant years and earned regular season SCIAC titles, but were left out of their respective NCAA Championship fields despite getting strong consideration for bids. 

Williams earned the Learfield Cup championship with a final score of 1117 points, and was followed by Johns Hopkins and WashU in the second and third spots. To view the complete standings, go to the following link:

Complete Final 2018-19 Standings