Union, LMU finish top-100 in Directors’ Cup

Published 3:30 pm Friday, June 15, 2018

Barbourville — Union College finished in 63rd place in the 2017-18 NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with 265 total points, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced.

This marks the sixth year in a row Union has placed in the top 100, finishing 52nd in 2016-17, 62nd in 2015-16, 70th in 2014-15, 73rd in 2013-14 and 99th in 2012-13.

Within the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC), Union is fourth out of the 13 schools that registered points in the standings. Reinhardt led the way with a 22nd-place showing as it collected 473.5 points, while Milligan (331.5 points) finished 39th and Tennessee Wesleyan (301.5) came in 46th place.

Union (265 points) checked in at 63rd place, and SCAD Atlanta (219.5 points) and Brenau (193 points) placed 79th and 89th place, respectively. Also representing the AAC are Truett McConnell (110th place, 131.5 points), Point (125th place, 102 points), Bryan (127th place, 92.5 points), Columbia (141th place, 69.5 points), Montreat (163rd place, 40 points), St. Andrews (166th place, 35 points), and Allen (189th place, 22.5 points).

A total of 196 schools scored points in the Directors’ Cup.

The Learfield Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today. Points are scored in 23 championship sports – men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, football, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s wrestling, cheer, dance, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, and softball.

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LMU earns second straight top-100 finish

HARROGATE, Tenn. — For the second consecutive year, the Lincoln Memorial University athletics department cracked the top 100 of the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings by finishing in 92nd place, it was announced by National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) officials on Thursday.

Lincoln Memorial fell just shy of last season’s record 81st-place finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup rankings, which measures overall athletic achievement based on performance in NCAA Championships.

All told, 268 NCAA Division II institutions were ranked in the final 2017-18 Learfield Directors’ Cup standings. Lincoln Memorial racked up 224.25 total points to rank fourth in the highly-competitive South Atlantic Conference, which was the only Division II league to place three schools in the top 21. Queens finished seventh, Wingate took eighth and Carson-Newman ended the year in 21st place.

Five programs made substantial postseason runs to power the Lincoln Memorial’s 92nd-place finish.

The men’s golf team made the largest contribution with 72.75 points, as the Railsplitters qualified for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship for the first time in program history. After three rounds of stroke play, LMU went on to earn a spot in the match play competition and finished fourth overall.

The men’s basketball team also made a significant contribution to the cause with 64 points after earning the program’s third consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional title game. Lincoln Memorial finished ninth overall among all Division II hoops programs.

The second-year women’s bowling team helped spark Lincoln Memorial’s effort as well by advancing to the National Collegiate Women’s Bowling Championship for the first time in program history after capturing the first East Coast Conference title in school history.

The Lady Railsplitters, who earned 25 points towards the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, bowled against No. 1 Nebraska and No. 5 Sam Houston State at the national championship site.

The men’s soccer and baseball teams also advanced to NCAA Tournament play. The Railsplitter soccer team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007, and garnered 25 points for that performance.

The baseball team captured its second consecutive SAC tournament title to earn automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament field, and won a game there for the second year in a row to collect 38 points.