North Central College Wins Triple Crown, Al Carius Program of the Year Award

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

June 2, 2010   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is honored to announce North Central College of Naperville, Ill., as the winners of the Al Carius Division III Men’s Program of the Year Award for the 2009-2010 school year. North Central won the school’s first triple crown, capturing NCAA titles in cross country, indoor track & field, and, most recently, outdoor track & field.

Al Carius Division III Men’s Program of the Year Winners
2009-2010: North Central (Ill.) (1st), UW La Crosse (2nd), Amherst (3rd)
2008-2009: UW Oshkosh (1st), UW La Crosse (2nd), UW Stevens Points (3rd)

North Central became the first squad to win a triple crown in Division III since UW La Crosse in 2005-06. North Central and head coach Al Carius – who is also the award’s namesake – won their fifth NCAA outdoor team title and first since sharing the crown in 2000 last weekend in Berea, Ohio. The Cardinals won their second-ever NCAA indoor title in March by a sizeable margin and, last November, was dominant in winning their first national cross country crown since 1999.

“It’s been a year of really coming together as a team, and finding out what that really means, and dealing with adversity all along the way,” said Carius. “Our guys continuously regrouped and got back together and continued to move forward. So many times, there were things that happened that could have interrupted that momentum, but it’s a real credit to everybody who has contributed to this synergistic effect, as well as the final result.”

UW La Crosse finished second in the tally (16) for the second-straight year, notching third-place showings at both track & field championships to go with a tenth-place national performance in the cross country season. Amherst was third with 35½ points.

The Al Carius Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and long-time North Central College head coach Al Carius.  Carius is in his 45th year of service at North Central and has won 20 NCAA Division III National Championships.

The Al Carius Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division III men’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 is 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. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.