AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst College rose from 10th to 7th place in the first set of spring standings in the race for the Sears Directors' Cup, administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and sponsored by Sears. These preliminary spring standings include team finishes in NCAA-sponsored championships in the sports of women's golf, men's golf, women's lacrosse, softball and women's tennis. Baseball, men's lacrosse, men's tennis and men's and women's track and field will round out the 10 sports in which the NCAA sponsors Division III spring championships. Complete spring standings and final scoring for the 1998 race will be announced on June 16 for all divisions.
Amherst added 100 points to its winter total behind three teams making NCAA appearances. Women's tennis became the third team in Amherst history to reach the Final Four by upsetting top-ranked Trinity (TX), and the team finished No. 4 in the nation. Men's golf made its second straight showing in the NCAAs, finishing third in District One and 23rd in the country. Softball made its debut in the national tournament, blazing through the regional as the No. 5 seed to challenge top-seeded Bridgewater State for the New England title. Finishing as the regional runner-up, the Jeffs posted its finest season in its four-year lifetime with a 31-8 record.
Last year, Amherst finished seventh overall for Division III institutions. Amherst had earned its fall and winter standings behind the performances of its soccer, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field teams. These were highlighted by a Final Four finish by men's soccer and an indoor track National Championship in the 800 by Rob Mitchell '99 (Worcester, VT).
A new scoring structure was implemented this year in which points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 18 sports - nine for men and nine for women. Each national champion receives 100 points (last year, first place was worth 64 points), while second place is worth 80 points (exceptions include brackets of eight and fewer teams).
There are four Sears Directors' Cup Awards, one to honor the institution with the best all-around athletics program in each of the NCAA's Divisions I, II, III and the NAIA. It is the first-ever cross-sectional all-sports national recogntion award for men and women.
1. California-San Diego 440 2. College of New Jersey 430 3. Mount Union (OH) 390 4T. Cortland State (NY) 380 4T. Middlebury (VT) 380 6. Williams (MA) 350 7. Amherst (MA) 320 8. Wisconsin - Stevens Point 315 9. Washington (MO) 420 10. Kenyon (OH) 300 # # # 5/22/98