NCAA DII Program of the Year Standings Update – Post-Indoor

NEW ORLEANS – Things got serious this past weekend.

After the dust settled at the conclusion of the 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, we have been able to see a clearer picture of how things could turn out come June. That’s when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) will dole out the awards for the NCAA Division II Programs of the Year.

For those uninitiated, the USTFCCCA Program of the Year 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.

NCAA Division II Program of the Year Standings

Men’s Team Pts Women’s Team Pts
1. Adams State 5 t-1. Adams State 3
2. Grand Valley State 10 t-1. Grand Valley State 3
3. Academy of Art 16 3. Western State 11
4. Missouri Southern 20.5 4. Minnesota Duluth 26
5. Southern Indiana 26.5 t-5. Cedarville/U-Mary 27

Head coach Rock Light of Adams State should be jumping for joy after his women’s team captured the NCAA Division II indoor title, but the men’s squad positioned themselves quite nicely for some hardware once again come June. After winning the cross country title last fall and finishing 4th this past weekend at the NCAA Division II indoor championships, the men’s team sits in 1st place in the Damon Martin Division II Men’s Program of the Year Award rankings.

The Grizzlies’ men’s team has picked up the honor every year since the award’s inception during the 2008-09 season. Should Adams State finish no lower than 5th during the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships this season, the program will capture its 9th award, which is fitting considering the award is named after its own head cross country and assistant track and field coach. Seeing that the Grizzlies men’s team has never finished lower than 4th since the award was created, this could almost be giftwrapped and sent to Alamosa, Colorado, now.

However, Grand Valley State is right behind Adams State should there be a slip up. Finishing in 2nd place for the award over the last three years, the Lakers have 10 points to its name after finishing 2nd in cross country and 8th during the indoor season. They will need an outstanding outdoor finish, coupled with a Grizzlies’ collapse, for the program’s first Damon Martin Division II Program of the Year Award.

Academy of Art comes in at 3rd with 16 points, followed by Missouri Southern (20.5) and Southern Indiana (26.5).

Things are much more interesting on the women’s side. Adams State finished 2nd during the cross country season while winning the indoor title. Grand Valley State did the exact opposite, placing 2nd indoor and going home with the title at the conclusion of the cross country season.

Which women’s team will lay claim to the Jerry Baltes Division II Women’s Program of the Year Award?

For starters, GVSU has been graced with the honor – named after its head coach – in six out of the eight years it’s been awarded. In those other two years, they finished 2nd. Adams State won it in 2013-14, while Hillsdale won the award in 2015-16, marking the first time a team other than GVSU or Adams State won the award on either the men’s or women’s side.

Western State (11) and Minnesota Duluth (26) rank 3rd and 4th, respectively, followed by a tie for 5th between Cedarville and U-Mary (27). With such a differential in points, coupled with the historically strong outdoor seasons put together by Grand Valley State and Adams State, it looks like you can pencil in either one of those schools for this year’s award.

But it’s still too early to tell who will be crowned. With both GVSU and Adams State tied at the top with three points apiece, it will most likely come down to who finishes higher at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.