Arkansas Men Win Their First John McDonnell Program of the Year Award
NEW ORLEANS – Though the Arkansas Razorbacks were unable to complete the sweep of the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division I Track & Field titles in 2013, they will finish the season as the winners of the John McDonnell Division I Men’s Program of the Year Award.
After having never finished in the top three for the award, which is named after its own legendary former head coach John McDonnell, since it was first administered in 2008-09, Arkansas will take home the trophy this season after finishing third at this past weekend’s outdoor championships, winning the indoor title, and finishing 10th during the cross country season.
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs in each of the NCAA’s three divisions and for each gender. 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 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.
Sitting at 11 points in the standings and trailing Wisconsin’s svelte five points entering the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the indoor champion Razorbacks finished third in Eugene to arrive at a final year-end total of 14 to Wisconsin’s 21 as the Badgers finished 15th overall at the championships.
The Badgers were second overall in the Program of the Year standings after also finishing runners-up at the cross country championships and third at the indoor championships.
Oregon finishes No. 3 in the Program of the Year standings with 30½ points after finishing fourth at its home facility during this past weekend’s outdoor championships, sixth during the indoor season and 20th in cross country.
After winning the award each of the last two years, the Florida State men finished fourth in the standings in 2012-13 with 33 points. A ninth-place showing this past weekend and a fifth-place finish in cross country were brought down by a disappointing 18th-place finish at the indoor championships.
Texas rounded out the top five with 38½ points after a sixth-place showing this weekend in Oregon. The Longhorns were ninth in cross country but finished 23rd at the indoor championships.
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.
2011-2012: Florida State (1st), Indiana (2nd), Texas (3rd)