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Mines Ranked No. 1 In Final Fall Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings

CLEVELAND, Ohio – With all seven NCAA Division II Fall Sports Championships completed, Colorado School of Mines continues to hold down the top spot in the final fall edition of the NCAA Division II Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, as announced on Wednesday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). 

FINAL FALL DIRECTORS’ CUP RANKINGS

The Orediggers finished second in men’s cross country, fifth in women’s soccer, eighth in women’s cross country and 17th in both men’s soccer and women’s volleyball for a total of 333.50 points. In all, five of the institution’s six fall sports earned points in the fall standings.

Grand Valley State (Mich.), who has captured eight of the last nine Directors’ Cups, is currently second with 280.00 total points. Tampa (Fla.) is third with 253.00, West Texas A&M is fourth with 247.00 and Shippensburg (Pa.) is fifth with 237.00 points. 

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 14 sports - seven women’s and seven men’s.

The Mines men’s cross country team, the highest-placing sport for the Orediggers in the standings, finished a program-best second place at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships on November 17 to earn 90 points. Five runners finished in the top 36 overall at the championships to record the program’s fourth-straight, top-five finish and the eighth-straight, top-10 finish.  Sean Gildea led the team with a ninth-place finish to record his third All-American honor. Phil Schneider, Derek Alcorn, Andrew Epperson and Frank Socha all earned All-American honors during the meet as well to account for all five All-Americans for the Orediggers (also a program record). In addition, senior Russell Drummond was named the RMAC Academic Runner of the Year. 

The Oredigger women’s soccer program finished fifth with 73 points for the second-straight year in the ranking formula (and seventh in the final 2012 NSCAA Poll) after advancing to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight campaign. The RMAC Tournament and South Central Region Champions ended the year 18-4-2 and on a school-record, 14-game unbeaten streak after falling in penalty kicks to UC-San Diego in the Elite Eight. The Orediggers also set a new single-season mark for shutouts with 15, including five in six postseason games (RMAC, NCAA). Senior Megan Woodworth and juniors Anna Evans and Kelsey Neal were named Daktronics All-Americans, while Evans also earned an All-American accolade from the NSCAA. In addition to the program’s athletic accomplishments, Woodworth was named the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for Division II Women’s Soccer and a First Team Academic All-America selection, while Evans earned Third Team Academic All-America laurels from Capital One/CoSIDA. In addition, Woodworth was named the RMAC Academic Player of the Year for the third-straight season – the first three-time Academic Player of the Year in the history of the RMAC. Woodworth, Neal and Evans were all named NSCAA Scholar All-Americans, while Evans was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Kevin Fickes was named the NSCAA South Central Region Coach of the Year.

The women’s cross country squad posted its third top-10 finish since the 2003 season with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships. Making its first trip to the championships since 2005, the Orediggers put its top-five scoring runners in the top 2/5 of the 249-runner field. 

The men’s soccer team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history after capturing its second RMAC Tournament Championship in the last three seasons (2010) with a 4-3 victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Regis in the championship match. The squad ended the 2012 campaign with a loss in the second round of the tournament which brought its final season record to 14-5-2 and 9-3-2 in the conference. Tesho Akindele earned All-American honors from Daktronics and the NSCAA while also earning Daktronics South Central Region Player of the Year and RMAC Offensive Player of the Year accolades. Senior Alex Nass earned All-American laurels from Daktronics as well and senior keeper Manville Strand was named the RMAC Goalkeeper of the Year. In addition to the team’s athletic accomplishments, senior Zach Page-Belknap was named a First Team Academic All-American. The squad ended the season with a No. 21 ranking in the final NSCAA Top 25 Coaches Poll. 

The women’s volleyball team posted numerous school records en route to its fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament as well as its second-straight trip to the second round. The squad posted a program-best 26-7 overall record and 17-2 RMAC record on the way to the program’s first-ever RMAC Championship. The team ended the season ranked a program-best No. 11 in the final AVCA Division II Coaches poll after spending the season’s entirety inside the rankings. Senior Jackie Stabell and junior Melanie Wannamaker were both named AVCA Second Team All-Americans, while Stabell also earned Third Team All-American honors from Daktronics as well. Stabell was also named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year, the RMAC Academic Player of the Year and the South Central Region Player of the Year during the 2012 campaign. Head coach Jamie Skadeland was named both the RMAC Coach of the Year and the AVCA South Central Region Coach of the Year after leading the team to a program-best .788 win percentage in 2012. 

The first Division II winter standings will be released Thursday, March 14. 

Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA’s website at www.directorscup.org.



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