UW Oshkosh Claims Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Honors in Division III

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

June 3, 2010   

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is honored to announce the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh of Oshkosh, Wis., as the winners of the Deb Vercauteren Division III Women’s Program of the Year Award for the 2009-2010 school year. UW Oshkosh was the national runner-up team in both NCAA Track & Field Championships this season.

Deb Vercauteren Division III Women’s Program of the Year Winners
2009-2010: UW Oshkosh (1st), MIT (2nd), Calvin (3rd)

2008-2009: Wartburg (1st), UW La Crosse (2nd), UW Eau Claire (3rd)

In what was an extremely close finish between UW Oshkosh, MIT, and Calvin, the Titans pulled out the Program of the Year victory via their second-place team finish at last weekend’s NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. In the meet, UW Oshkosh with 53 held off MIT’s third-place showing (37) and Calvin’s fifth-place finish (35). In the final Program of the Year standings, UW Oshkosh ended with 17 points (13 cross country, 2 indoor track & field, 2 outdoor track & field), MIT had 18 points (5 XC, 10 ITF, 3 OTF) and Calvin notched 19 points (3 XC, 11 ITF, 5 OTF). Last year’s Program of the Year winner, Wartburg – who won the NCAA indoor track & field team title in 2010 – was fourth with 21 points .

"We are very excited about winning the USTFCCCA’s Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award," said Interim Head Coach Pat Ebel. "It shows that we had the best balance of any school in the sports of cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.  The award is special for us as Deb serves as my assistant coach in track and field while serving as our school’s head cross country coach. The student-athletes in our cross country and track and field program are passionate about their sport.  We appreciate their hard work and dedication.  Without them, this award wouldn’t be possible."

The NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former UW 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 over 345 All-American performances. Vercauteren has won an impressive 36 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (15 cross country, 11 indoors, and 10 outdoors).

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 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.