MIT’s Consistency Led to First Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Title

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

June 2, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS – The women’s program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the 2010-2011 winner of the Deb Vercauteren Division III Program of the Year award. MIT was the only squad in the nation to capture top-four national finishes at each of the NCAA’s three championships for cross country/track & field teams. The USTFCCCA Program of the Year award is given to an institution that had the best combined team finishes in each of the NCAA’s cross country/track & field sports in a given academic year.

Deb Vercauteren Division III Women’s Program of the Year Winners

2010-2011: MIT (1st), Williams (2nd), UW-Oshkosh (3rd)
2009-2010: UW-Oshkosh (1st), MIT (2nd), Calvin (3rd)
2008-2009: Wartburg (1st), UW-La Crosse (2nd), UW-Eau Claire (3rd)

MIT placed third in the fall at the NCAA cross country championships and third again at the NCAA indoor track & field championships. The Engineers followed that up with a fourth-place showing at the NCAA outdoor track & field championships last weekend in Delaware, Ohio, to total ten points on the year.

MIT finished as the award’s runner-up in 2009-2010.

Williams College, this year’s runner-up, claimed their best finish in the history of the award by scoring 17 points. Williams placed fifth at the cross country championships, seventh at the indoor track & field championships, and fifth at the outdoor track & field championships this year.

Last year’s winner of the award, UW-Oshkosh, tied for third this year with Wartburg. The Titans were champions of the NCAA indoor and outdoor team titles while Wartburg took second at both track & field national meets.

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 Program of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division III cross country/track & field programs.  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 each of the NCAA Championships.  Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Division II 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.

Program of the Year Award Standings (Top Five FINAL)
Women’s Division III – Deb Vercauteren Award

1

MIT

10 pts

2

Williams

17 pts

3

UW-Oshkosh

18 pts

3

Wartburg

18 pts

5

Middlebury

34 pts