A Look at the Program of the Year Standings after the Indoor Season

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

March 14, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – With the conclusion of the indoor track & field season, standings have been updated in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year races for the 2011-2012 school year. For award consideration, only the outdoor track & field championships remains for each of the three divisions of the NCAA. Men’s program leaders in the standings are Indiana, Adams State, and North Central (Ill.). On the women’s side, Oregon, Grand Valley State, and Washington (Mo.) lead through two of the three seasons of the school year.

Current Standings and Past Winners

The Program of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the most outstanding 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 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 I 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.

Division I: Indiana Seeks First Program of the Year Nod, Oregon Going for Fourth-Straight

The men’s program at Indiana University leads the standings of the John McDonnell Program of the Year Award for NCAA Division I. The Hoosiers hold a tight lead with 13 points, accumulated in tallying a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall and a sixth-place showing at the indoor track & field championships this past weekend. Indiana’s previous best showing in the Program of the Year race was fourth a year ago.

Stanford, runner-up for the award a year ago, currently sits second in the award standings with 16 points (5 XC, 11 ITF). BYU and Texas are tied for third with 18 points apiece. The Cougars of BYU finished third in the final standings for the 2010-11 school year.

Florida State – the award winner from a year ago – sits in fifth place with 21 points (12 XC, =8 ITF). Reigning cross country champions Wisconsin (1 XC, 30 ITF) is tied with national indoor champ Florida (30 XC, 1 ITF) for seventh with 31 points.

The University of Oregon’s women’s program holds the lead in the Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award for NCAA Division I. The Ducks have won the award for the past three school years and have most recently won their third-straight NCAA indoor track & field crown last weekend in Nampa, Idaho. The Ducks placed fifth at the national championships in cross country this fall.

Iowa State sits second in the award’s standings with a tally of 17 points (7 XC, 10 ITF). Georgetown, the reigning NCAA Cross Country Champions, is third overall in the standings (17½ points), adding a tied for 16th-place showing at the indoor championships.

The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field champions in Division I will be determined June 6-9, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The John McDonnell Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former Arkansas head coach John McDonnell.  McDonnell’s Arkansas teams won a combined 40 National Championships and finished in the top ten in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in 24 of his 36 seasons in Fayetteville. Five of his teams won the NCAA Triple Crown. 

The Terry Crawford Women’s Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former Cal Poly head coach Terry Crawford.  Crawford has won five NCAA National Championships, and over 20 Conference Championships.  Her 1986 Texas squad remains as the only NCAA women’s program to ever win the Triple Crown (cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field titles).

John McDonnell Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5)
Men’s Division I

1

Indiana

13 pts

2

Stanford

16 pts

3

BYU

18 pts

 

Texas

18 pts

5

Florida State

21 pts

 
Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5)
Women’s Division I

1

Oregon

6 pts

2

Iowa State

17 pts

3

Georgetown

17½ pts

4

Arkansas

20 pts

5

Stanford

23½ pts

 

 

 

 

Division II: Adams State Looking Primed for Fourth-Straight POY Award, Grand Valley State in Tight Race for Fourth Title

Adams State College’s men’s program sits atop the Division II Program of the Year standings after the indoor season with a sizeable lead, having tallied only four points with runner-up finishes in cross country and indoor track & field so far in the school year. The Grizzlies have won the award in the past three school years.

RMAC rivals Western State and Colorado Mines sits second and third in the standings, respectively. Western State (18 points) won the NCAA’s cross country crown in the fall and placed 17th last weekend at the indoor championships. Colorado Mines (19½) was fifth in the fall with cross country and tied for 14th at the indoor track & field championships.

The program at Grand Valley State leads the women’s Division II Program of the Year standings. The Lakers have just four points as they secured their second-straight indoor track & field national crown last weekend to go with a third-place showing during the cross country season. GVSU has won the last three women’s Program of the Year titles in Division II.

GVSU does have a close competitor for the award with Adams State sitting in second with just six points (4 XC, 2 ITF). Adams State finished as the award’s runner-up in each of the last three years. In 2010-2011, ASC scored a trio of third-place showings.

Western State is third in the women’s standings with 10½ points (2 XC, =8 ITF). Cross country national champion Augustana (S.D.) is in eighth-place with 36 points.

Men’s Division II Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5)

1

Adams State

4 pts

2

Western State

18 pts

3

Colorado Mines

19½ pts

4

Ashland

20 pts

5

Grand Valley State

26 pts

 
Women’s Division II Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5)

1

Grand Valley State

4 pts

2

Adams State

6 pts

3

Western State

10½ pts

4

U-Mary

18 pts

5

Ferris State

24½ pts

 

Division III: North Central Striving for Second Triple Crown in Three Years, Washington (Mo.) Vying for First POY Title

The men’s program at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., leads the Al Carius Program of the Year award standings for Division III. The Cardinals – winners of the last two Program of the Year awards – has opened the 2011-2012 school year with NCAA titles in cross country and indoor track & field. A national crown this spring in outdoor track & field would give North Central their second “triple crown” in three seasons.

UW-Oshkosh, third last year and winners of the award in 2008-09, sits second with eight points (5 XC, 3 ITF). Bates College stands third with 16½ points (7 XC, =9 ITF).

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 47th year of service at North Central, still as head coach of the Cardinals’ cross country squad, and has won 22 NCAA Division III National Championships.

On the women’s side, Washington University of St. Louis’ program leads the standings of the Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year through the indoor season. The Bears, with four points, won the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship in the fall and followed with a third-place showing at last weekend’s indoor track & field national meet. Wash-U finished ninth in the overall standings last year – the program’s overall best women’s finish.

Indoor track & field national championship team Wartburg stands second in the standings with seven points. The Knights, who placed fourth last year in the POY standings and won in 2008-09, finished sixth nationally this season in cross country. Middlebury is third with 12 points (2 XC, 10 ITF).

Last year’s winner of the Deb Vercauteren Award – MIT – is currently fifth in the standings with 26½ points (5 XC, =21 ITF).

In the previous three years of the award’s existence, there has been three different winners of the Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award (2008-09, Wartburg; 2009-10, UW-Oshkosh; 2010-11, MIT).

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).

Al Carius Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5)
Men’s Division III

1

North Central (Ill.)

2 pts

2

UW-Oshkosh

8 pts

3

Bates

16½ pts

4

UW-La Crosse

19½ pts

5

Washington (Mo.)

22½ pts

Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award Standings (Top 5)
Women’s Division III

1

Washington (Mo.)

4 pts

2

Wartburg

7 pts

3

Middlebury

12 pts

4

Williams

17 pts

5

MIT

26½ pts