Pre-NCAA Program of the Year Update

Pre-NCAA Program of the Year Update

NEW ORLEANS – National titles are on the line this weekend in Divisions II and III and the road to the Division I titles has begun, but for a number of teams in each division a chance at USTFCCCA Program of the Year honors is also at stake.

More Info: 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

Oregon Women, Wisconsin Men Enter NCAA Championships as Program of the Year Leaders

Sitting at No. 3 in the most recent USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings, the Oregon women are going for not only an outdoor NCAA team title in the next three weeks, but also a sweep of the 2012-13 cross country and track & field titles and their fifth-straight Terry Crawford Women’s Program of the year award, while the men’s race for the John McDonnell Men’s Program of the Year is completely up in the air.

Based on the scoring system detailed above, the Ducks have a team score of two in the Program of the Year rankings — which are akin to golf in that lower scores are more desirable. The next closest competitor, Arizona, is 11½ points back in the standings at 13½, with Florida State and Iowa State another 6½ points behind at 20 points apiece.

Hypothetically, the Ducks would need to finish at least 12 spots behind Arizona — No. 6 in the latest USTFCCCA rankings — to lose their lock on the Program of the Year title.

The men’s race is another story entirely. Wisconsin is the current leader with a team score of five, followed by Oklahoma State with nine and Arkansas with 11. The Badgers are ranked No. 9 in the most recent rankings, Oklahoma State is unranked and indoor champion Arkansas is No. 4.

TERRY CRAWFORD WOMEN’S PROGRAM OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Rank
School
Total Points
1
Oregon
2
2
Aizona
13.5
3
Florida State
20
3
Iowa State
20
5
Michigan
21

JOHN MCDONNELL MEN’S PROGRAM OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Rank
School
Total Points
1
Wisconsin
5
2
Oklahoma State
9
3
Arkansas
11
4
Northern Arizona
20.5
5
Florida State
24

Played out assuming their NCAA finishes would hold true to their USTFCCCA Rankings this week, the Badgers would edge the Razorbacks by one point, 14-15. In order to maintain their advantage, the Wisconsin men need to finish no more than five spots behind Arkansas at the NCAA Finals.

Two-time defending John McDonnell Men’s Program of the Year award winner Florida State is currently fifth with 24 points (5 XC/18 ITF).

The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field champions in Division I will be determined June 5-8, in Eugene, Ore.

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).

 

Division II

Adams State men, Grand Valley State women ready for the battle to repeat Program of the Year honors

The Adams State men and Grand Valley State women are both going after their fifth-straight Program of the Year Awards, with both top-five squads chasing their second DII team titles of the academic year following cross country crowns.

Adams State’s men are atop the standings for the Program of the Year standings with four points after an XC title in the fall and a third-place finish indoors. The Grand Valley State men are seven points back at 11, just ahead of Ashland with 11½.

Should the USTFCCCA National Team Rankings hold form this weekend, Adams State would finish third for seven points in the Program of the Year standings, ahead of Ashland at 14½ and Grand Valley State at 21. The championship race has been volatile throughout the season with four team having claimed No. 1 in the rankings for at least one week, including both Ashland and Adams State.

The women’s race for the Jerry Baltes DII Women’s Program of the Year honors is even closer, with Grand Valley State at five points following an XC title and a fourth-place finish indoors. Sitting just four points back is Adams State at nine.

DII MEN’S PROGRAM OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Rank
School
Total Points
1
Adams State
4
2
Grand Valley State
11
3
Ashland
11.5
4
Alaska Anchorage
17
5
Western State
19

JERRY BALTES DII WOMEN’S PROGRAM OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Rank
School
Total Points
1
Grand Valley State
5
2
Adams State
9
3
Alaska Anchorage
17
4
Western State
19
5
U-Mary
22

The Lakers and Grizzlies are No. 4 and 5 in the most recent USTFCCCA rankings, which would put GVSU at nine total Program of the Year points if the rankings hold true and Adams State at 14. GVSU is projected to be in close competition with three other teams for the NCAA team title, which would lock up the Program of the Year honors.

This is the first season of the Jerry Baltes Women’s Division II Program of the Year award As of January 2013, Baltes’ squads have won six NCAA titles. A “triple crown” of NCAA crowns in the 2010-11 academic year and Baltes’ squad became the first in Division II history, regardless of gender to win cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field national championships in the same academic year.

 

Division III

UW-La Crosse men, Wartburg women in position for Program of the Year honors

The USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings pre-championships favorites for Division III are also the leaders in the Division III Program of the Year races in the UW-La Crosse men and Wartburg women.

UW-La Crosse’s men have tallied just four points in the Al Carius DIII Men’s Program of the Year standings after a fourth-place finish at the cross country championships  and an indoor team title, just ahead of 2012 Program of the Year winner North Central (Ill.) with nine points. Bates with 11, Haverford with 12 and UW-Eau Claire with 13 are just behind to round out the top five.

The Eagles would lock the award up with an outdoor title, which the USTFCCCA computers project they will do. Following the rankings, No. 7 North Central would finish runner-up in the Program of the Year standings with 16 points, just ahead of No. 6 Bates with 17. Bates is in a close race for the No. 4 spot, while North Central could also secure a top-five spot.

Wartburg sits at six points in the Deb Vercauteren DIII Women’s Program of the Year standings after a fourth-place finish indoors and a runner-up showing at the cross country championships. The next closest team to the Knights is Williams with 11 points.

AL CARIUS DIII MEN’S PROGRAM OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Rank
School
Total Points
1
UW-La Crosse
5
2
North Central (Ill.)
9
3
Bates
11
4
Haverford
12
5
UW-Eau Claire
13

DEB VERCAUTEREN DIII WOMEN’S PROGRAM OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Rank
School
Total Points
1
Wartburg
6
2
Williams
11
3
MIT
19.5
4
Johns  Hopkins
22.5
t-5
Middlebury
26.5
t-5
St. Lawrence
26.5

If the Wartburg women win the outdoor title as the computers project they may, they will guarantee themselves a defense of their Program of the Year honors from last season with seven points. Williams, at No. 14 in the USTFCCCA projections, would finish well back at 25 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 47th year of service at North Central, still as head coach of the Cardinals’ cross country squad, and has won 23 NCAA Division III National Championships. Carius’ program last won a “triple crown” of NCAA titles during the 2009-2010 academic year.

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 won a combined 18 NCAA national titles and her student-athletes combined to earn over 345 All-American performances. Vercauteren won an impressive 36 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (15 cross country, 11 indoors, and 10 outdoors).