Arkansas Leads SEC, Ranks 11th Nationally In Directors Cup Standings

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – An NCAA Championship from  the Razorback women’s indoor track and field team and a top-three national finish by the men’s indoor track and field squad, has vaulted the University of Arkansas to 11th in the 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA).

Arkansas leads all Southeastern Conference (SEC) programs with 401 points and is one of only four of 14 SEC programs in the top 25. Arkansas is primed to continue its rise up the standings based on other sports yet to be scored. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams won games in their respective NCAA Basketball Tournaments and the Razorback gymnastics team has qualified for an NCAA Regional. Points in those sports will be awarded after their respective NCAA championships are completed.

“Thanks to some outstanding NCAA performances by Razorback student-athletes and teams competing in fall and winter sports, the University of Arkansas has positioned itself as the most successful all-sports program in the Southeastern Conference and one of the elite programs in the nation.” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “Led by an NCAA team title and third-place finish from our track teams, we have carried the momentum from the strong performances of our fall sports to move up in the Directors Cup standings. Soon we will add points for NCAA appearances by men’s and women’s basketball and gymnastics to further strengthen our standing as we prepare to enter the championship season for spring sports.”

The Directors Cup is a competition that tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletics programs for their athletic performances throughout the year. The initial spring standings released on Thursday include scoring for men’s and women’s indoor track and field as well as rifle and skiing. Previously, points were awarded in fall sports including men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo.

Arkansas picked up 100 points for its first national championship captured by the Razorback women’s indoor track and field team earlier this month in Fayetteville. Coach Lance Harter led his team to a resounding win and in the process provided the Razorback program its first national championship in any women’s sport. The national title was the 44th in school history, joining one in football, one in men’s basketball and 41 in men’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field. It also marked the first national championship for Coach Harter. The Razorbacks earned three event national titles including Dominique Scott in the 3,000 meters, Sandi Morris in the pole vault and a relay title in the Distance Medley Relay.

The Razorback men’s track and field team earned 85 points for a third-place national finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center. With the finish, the Razorback men’s indoor track team has tallied a top-three NCAA indoor finish in four-consecutive years, including a team title in 2013. The team was paced by a collegiate-record performance by Omar McLeod who won an individual NCAA crown in the 60-meter hurdles.

Arkansas earned a total of 216 points based on fall sports’ finishes. The Razorbacks racked up 121 points based on the national finishes of the men’s and women’s cross country teams. The women’s cross country team tallied 75 points after earning a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. It marked the third-consecutive Top-10 national finish for the women’s program after earning sixth and ninth place finishes at last year’s indoor and outdoor national championships, respectively.

The men’s cross country team earned 46 points after finishing 28th in the nation at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. In addition, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams won their respective Southeastern Conference championships for the second straight year.

Arkansas added another 45 points to its total after a strong finish by the Razorback football team. Arkansas finished the 2014 season with a 7-6 record, including wins in three of its last four games. The Razorbacks capped the season with a resounding 31-7 win over Texas in the 2014 Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.

The Razorback soccer team made a postseason run in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Arkansas defeated Oklahoma 3-2 in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling at No. 3 Stanford, 1-0, in the second round of the draw. Arkansas earned 50 points in the Directors’ Cup for its 2014 performance.

In 2013-14, Arkansas has earned a spot among the nation’s top 30 programs for the sixth time in the past seven years. The Razorbacks finished 28th nationally in the final 2013-14 standings. Arkansas accumulated a total of 720 points to extend the recent stretch of Directors Cup success that began when the men’s and women’s athletic programs were combined in 2008.

Arkansas finished fourth in the nation among programs with 19 or fewer sports and eighth among programs with 20 or fewer sports. In addition to last year’s 28th-place overall finish, the Razorbacks recorded Top-30 finishes in in 2007-08 (24th), 2008-09 (25th), 2010-11 (24th), 2011-12 (20th) and 2012-13 (21st).

The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.

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