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Pictures of Josh Angle, Riley Capuano, Lucas Lang and the men's tennis team, along with the Learfield logo

CMS Finishes Ninth in Learfield Directors' Cup Standings for 2023-24

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps athletic department earned a top-10 finish (ninth) in the final Learfield Directors' Cup Division III standings for the 2023-24 academic year, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced today.

CMS scored 423.50 points in the spring season, which was the third-highest total in the country during the spring, behind only Tufts and Middlebury, moving it up to ninth in the final standings after standing in 12th after the winter. The spring boost gave CMS its sixth top-10 finish in the last seven years that the standings have been compiled.

Men's tennis led the way for CMS in the spring season with 90 points from its runner-up finish, while women's tennis earned 83 points by reaching the national semifinals. Women's golf earned 66 points and men's golf earned 63 by making their respective cuts at nationals and ending up in eighth place and 13th place, respectively. 

The CMS baseball team earned its first NCAA bid since 1996 and advanced to the regional finals, adding 50 points to the department total. Women's track and field earned 45.5 points behind a second-place finish in the 1500 meters from Riley Capuano, while men's track and field earned 26 points behind a fourth-place finish in the 1500 from Mason Ratkovich. 

In the winter, the Stags basketball team won the first regional in program history and made it to the Round of 16, earning 64 points. The men's swim and dive team had a national championship performance from Lucas Lang in the 1650-yard freestyle and three All-America races from Frank Applebaum to earn 63 points with a 13th-place finish, while the women's swim and dive team earned 49 points by finishing 25th. Track and field also had All-America performances in indoor season from Natalie Bitetti in the 3000 meters, and Bitetti, Capuano, Laura Zimmer and Shriya Velichala in the distance medley relay to earn 60.75 points. 

CMS had 227.5 points after the fall (see release), with three of its programs earning high point totals at their respective NCAA Championships. Volleyball tied for third by reaching the NCAA Division III Semifinals, which were held at Roberts Pavilion, and earned 83 points. Women's cross country was fourth in the nation and collected 80 points, while men's cross country placed 12th and earned 64.5 points.  

After this year's ninth-place finish, CMS has now earned top-15 status in the Learfield Directors' Cup in each of the last 11 academic years (not counting the two-year hiatus due to the pandemic). After finishing 14th in 2011-12, CMS followed with 13th, 13th and 11th finishes before moving into the top 10 for the first time in 2015-16 in tenth place. 

CMS then jumped into fourth in 2016-17, before having its highest-ever finish of third after a 2017-18 academic year which saw it win three national titles (volleyball, women's tennis, women's golf). CMS then finished 12th in 2018-19, and moved back into the top ten after the pandemic in 2021-22 in eighth, and then came in tenth last year. The department was also in strong position for a high finish in 2019-20, placing fourth after the fall season, the highest it had ever ranked at that stage of the year, before the pandemic shut down collegiate athletics in March.  

Overall, 18 sports are counted in the final DIII standings, four of which must be men's and women's soccer and men's and women's basketball. The next highest (14 max.) sports scored for each institution, regardless of gender, are used in the standings (the USA Water Polo Division III Championships, in which the Stags won the national title in the fall and the Athenas finished as runner-up in the spring, are not factored into the calculations, due to being non-NCAA events).