GV regains lead in Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings

Samantha Butcher

After the success of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, Grand Valley State University has regained the lead in the Division II Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings.

With 550.50 total points, GVSU is in first place after the final winter standings were released on March 29, with Grand Canyon University (Ariz.) close on its heels with 527 points in second place.

The narrow lead is nothing compared to the dominating 231.5-point advantage the university had at the same time last year, but despite setbacks GVSU ended both the final fall and winter rankings perched at No. 1, with 260 and 290.5 points, respectively.

GVSU won its eighth-consecutive cup in 2011.

Although GVSU had fallen behind in the previous standings, strong finishes by the women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams, No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, netted the university a combined 139.5 points. They also earned 100 points from the women’s track and field team’s national title, and 51 points from the men’s track and field team’s No. 22 finish.

In the fall, GVSU finished first in spite of a weak football season due to strong finishes from men’s and women’s cross country (both ranked No. 3) and women’s soccer (No. 2).

Learfield Sports, which hosts the Director’s Cup trophy each year, will release preliminary wpring rankings for Division II on March 24, with final spring rankings — and the announcement of the winner — being released on June 6.

The Director’s Cup — described by Learfield as “the crowning achievement in college athletics” — was created in 1993 by NACDA and USA Today to recognize institutions that maintain broad athletic success in a variety of men’s and women’s sports. The competition was expanded to Division II and III in 1995, and GVSU won its first Cup in the 2003-04 year, which marked the beginning of its eight-year streak.

For more information about the Director’s Cup or to view the full rankings, visit www.thedirectorscup.com.

[email protected]