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Arkansas primed for another top 25 Directors Cup finish

Arkansas primed for another top 25 Directors Cup finish

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas is primed for another top 25-finish in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup and ranks 22nd heading into the final two weeks of the 2012-13 competition. Successful postseason runs by softball, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field and men’s and women’s golf have helped position the Razorbacks to once again finish among the nation’s most successful all-sports programs.

The Directors Cup is a competition that tracks the nation’s intercollegiate athletic programs for their athletic performances throughout the year. The final standings will include points for the only remaining championship being contested (baseball) and will be published upon the completion of the College World Series by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA).

The Razorbacks have earned 780 points this year and currently rank fourth among Southeastern Conference schools.

Arkansas has already racked up 335.25 points in the spring segment to date. Men’s track and field once again provided a major boost garnering 85 points for a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The women’s track and field squad also scored big earning 70.5 points after an eighth-place national finish.

Both the men’s and women’s golf teams added to the ledger as well. Men’s golf tallied 67.5 points for a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championship. The women’s golf team earned 62.25 points after finishing 13th at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.

For the second-consecutive season, softball added 50 points to Arkansas’ total. The softball team advanced to the NCAA Regional final in Norman, Okla., before seeing its season come to an end.

The Razorbacks got off to a fast start in the scoring for the winter standings and finished the segment with 296.25 points. The Razorback men’s track and field team earned 100 points after capturing the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship at the Randal Tyson Center in Fayetteville. The national title was the 41st in program history, including the 20th NCAA indoor crown. It marked the first national title for men’s head coach Chris Bucknam and the first for the Razorbacks since 2006.

Arkansas also picked up 80 points from a fourth-place national finish by its women’s team at the NCAA Indoor meet after capturing the SEC title earlier in the month. It marked the second time in the past three years the Razorback women’s team has earned a fourth-place national finish indoors.

A sixth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Gymnastics Championship and a 10th place national finish earned 68.25 points for the Razorbacks. Arkansas finished second in its regional, including upsetting regional host Oregon State, to earn a trip to the national meet.

The women’s swimming and diving team earned 48 points for a 26th place finish at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship in Indianapolis, Ind. The finish was the seventh-best NCAA finish in school history and the best since Arkansas placed 25th overall in 1990, prior to joining the Southeastern Conference.

The Razorbacks earned 148.5 points in the fall. The men’s cross country team won its fifth-consecutive SEC cross country and track title before earning a top-10 finish at the NCAA meet. Arkansas earned 67.5 points for its 10th place finish at the NCAA Championship. The Razorback women’s cross country team advanced to the national meet by winning the South Central Regional before finishing 18th at the NCAA Championship. Arkansas earned 56 points for its national finish.

In 2011-12, Arkansas finished 20th in the Directors Cup, earning its first top 20-finish in more than a decade and for the first time since the current scoring format was adopted in 2000. Arkansas finished second in the nation among programs with 19 or fewer sports and sixth among programs with 20 or fewer sports. The Directors Cup awards points for up to 20 varsity sports.

Arkansas has finished in the top 25 four times in the past five years, the best stretch in school history. In addition to last year’s 20th-place finish, the Razorbacks finished 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.

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