FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bolstered by strong NCAA Championship finishes by its men’s and women’s indoor track teams, Arkansas has moved into the nation’s top 10 in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup. The Razorbacks are tied for ninth nationally with a total of 377 points in the first set of winter standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Arkansas leads all Southeastern Conference programs and is the only SEC program within the top 10. Only three other SEC programs are ranked in the top 25 of the most recent standings. The first winter standings reflect points awarded for men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, skiing, rifle, women’s volleyball and field hockey.
The Razorback men’s track and field team earned 90 points for a national runner-up finish earlier this month at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Coach Chris Bucknam’s squad won the SEC team title before earning its third-consecutive indoor national championship or national championship runner-up finish. Freshman Omar McLeod and sophomore Jarrion Lawson earned individual NCAA titles in the 60-meter hurdles and long jump, respectively. Razorback student-athletes earned a total of 19 All-America honors for the men’s indoor season.
Coach Lance Harter led the women’s track and field team to another top 10 national finish as well. The Razorbacks earned 73.5 points for a sixth-place finish at the national meet. Arkansas earned the first NCAA Distance Medley Relay in school history and Razorback student-athletes earned 19 All-America honors for their performances at the national meet.
The Directors Cup is a competition that tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletic programs for their athletic performances throughout the year. Directors Cup standings are divided into three intervals reflecting fall, winter and spring sports. The next edition of the winter standings will be released on April 10.
Arkansas ranked in the top 20 in the final fall standings for the first time since the 2006-07 athletic year following a strong performance by the Razorbacks’ fall sports. The men’s cross country team earned 64.5 points after finishing 12th in the nation at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The women’s cross country team tallied 60 points after a 15th-place finish at nationals. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams won their respective SEC championships before going on to earn top-15 national finishes.
Coach Colby Hale and the Razorback soccer team earned 64 points for a run to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. This year’s bid, marked the first time the Razorback soccer program advanced to the NCAA Tournament and the first time the program tallied points in the Directors Cup. The Razorback Volleyball program also contributed to the fall total. The Razorbacks advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second-consecutive season in 2013. The NCAA tournament appearance earned the Razorbacks 25 points in the most recent standings.
In 2012-13, the University of Arkansas finished in the top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors Cup for the third straight year and the fifth time in the past six years. The Razorbacks finished No. 21 and accumulated a school record 830 total points to extend the most successful stretch of Directors Cup success in school history. In addition to last year’s 21st-place finish, the Razorbacks finished 20th in 2011-12, 24th in 2010-11, 25th in 2008-09 and 24th in 2007-08.The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.
For more information regarding Razorback Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Learfield Sports Directors Cup Standings(March 27, 2014)School, Points1. Stanford, 596.252. Florida State, 465.03. Oregon, 455.54. Michigan State, 452.05. Colorado, 426.56. Penn State, 415.07. Wisconsin, 411.58. Notre Dame, 409.59. Arkansas, 377.09. Duke, 377.0
SEC Directors Cup Standings(March 27, 2014)School (National Rank),Points
1. Arkansas (T-9th), 377.02. Texas A&M (12th), 342.03. Florida (14th), 340.54. Kentucky (22nd), 280.05. Alabama (28th), 247.756. LSU (29th), 244.257. Georgia (33rd), 222.08. Missouri (44th), 182.29. South Carolina (45th), 181.510. Auburn (46th), 180.7511. Mississippi State (47th), 175.512. Ole Miss (49th), 172.513. Vanderbilt (87th), 98.014. Tennessee (162nd), 27.0