Wartburg Women Claim Inaugural Deb Vercauteren Program of Year Award

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

May 28, 2009   

NEW ORLEANS – After winning both the NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, the Wartburg women added another piece of hardware to its collection on Wednesday when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced the final standings for the NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year award.

"To receive this award is very humbling and a big honor. I spent a lot of my early coaching days watching Deb’s teams win national championships and have been working towards getting our program to that level," said Wartburg Head Coach Marcus Newsom.

Wartburg finished first overall in the standings having earned six points in the 2008-09 school year. Wartburg finished fourth overall in the cross country championships in the fall to earn four points, was the national champion indoors to earn one point, and wrapped up the season with the outdoor title and one additional point.

Wisconsin La Crosse was second overall in the team standings with 13 points followed by Wisconsin Eau Claire with 16 points and Wisconsin Oshkosh with 23 points. Calvin College was fifth with 26 points.

Wartburg’s track and field season was a special one as the team earned its first women’s indoor title and picked up its second women’s outdoor title. Wartburg was consistent over the course of the indoor and outdoor track seasons, as they scored 51 points at the indoor national meet and 52 points at the outdoor meet. Wartburg’s outdoor national title came on the meet’s last event, the 4×400 meter relay, when they won the race to win the team title by two points.

Wisconsin La Crosse and Wisconsin Eau Claire also enjoyed stellar cross country/track and field season as both programs finished in the top ten nationally at all three championships.

The NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division III women’s cross country/track & field program.  The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Division III Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award teams must qualify for the NCAA Championships.  Scoring will be based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Division III Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient.

The NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and current Wisconsin-Oshkosh women’s head coach Deb Vercauteren.  Her Titans have won a combined 18 NCAA national titles and her student-athletes have combined to earn 347 All-American performances.  Vercauteren has won an impressive 36 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (15 cross country, 11 indoors, and 10 outdoors).

Final Standings
Institution
Total Points
1
Wartburg
6
2
Wisconsin-La Crosse
13
3
Wisconsin-Eau Claire
16
4
Wisconsin-Oshkosh
23
5
Calvin
26
6
MIT
38.5
7
Bethel (Minnesota)
52.5
8
St. Thomas (Minnesota)
55.5
9
Messiah
63.5
10
St. Lawrence
64
11
Washington (Missouri)
67.5
12
Williams
68.5
13
The College of New Jersey
74
14
Carleton
88
15
Cortland State
90
16
Emory
102
17
Ithaca
125
17
Trinity (Texas)
125
19
Middlebury
139.5