MEDFORD - Led by four top 15 finishes in NCAA Championships during the last three weeks, the Tufts University varsity athletics program is at #9 in today's release of the final winter DIII standings of the Learfield Directors’ Cup.
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 18 sports -- nine women's and nine men's. Announced today, the fall standings include results for men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball. New England Small College Athletic Conference schools are not eligible for NCAA play in football.
The Jumbos are up five spots from where they stood at #14 following the fall sesaon. Women's basketball, men's swimming & diving, women's indoor track & field, men's indoor track & field and women's swimming & diving all scored points for their performances in NCAA events this winter. Tufts scored 301.50 points for the winter, added to their 220 total from the fall for a 521.50 total score. The Jumbos' winter-omly score (301.5) was eighth-best among Division III teams.
Head coach Carla Berube's women's basketball team earned 73 fifth-place points for advancing to the Elite Eight. The men's swimming & diving team, coached by Adam Hoyt, also finished among the top 10 in seventh place at their NCAA meet for 72 points.
Women's track & field finished 11th at the NCAA Championships as head coach Kristen Morwick's team had a 64.5 Directors' Cup score. Head coach Joel Williams' men's track & field squad was 13th, adding 61.5 points to the Tufts total. Women's swimming & diving, also led by Coach Hoyt, contributed 30.5 points with their 43rd-place at NCAA's.
In the fall, the Jumbos qualified four teams for NCAA competition. Head coach Josh Shapiro's men's soccer team scored the most points (73) for the fall after advancing to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The women's cross country team, coached by Kristen Morwick, finished seventh at the NCAA Championship Race to score 72 Directors' Cup points. Tufts' women's soccer and women's volleyball teams also participated in NCAA Tournaments. Head coach Cora Thompson's volleyball squad played into the second round and earned 50 points in the Cup standings. Head coach Martha Whiting's team lost in the first round of the NCAA women's soccer field, earning them 25 Cup points.
The Jumbos will be looking to remain in the top 10 - and perhaps climb a few sports - with NCAA success in the spring season. Last year’s third-place finish overall improved upon 2016’s fourth-place showing as Tufts' best in program history. The Jumbos finished in sixth-place in 2005-06 and 2009-10, which prior to the last two years was the best since the Directors’ Cup began in 1995-96. Tufts has scored among the top 10 for five straight years and nine times overall.
The final spring standings as well as the final overall Directors' Cup standings are scheduled to be released on May 31. Points are awarded in men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track & field, softball, baseball and women's rowing, as well as men's volleyball and women's golf (which Tufts does not sponsor).