FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (News Release) – Fresh off a national championship in women’s cross country, Arkansas debuted among the nation’s top 10 intercollegiate athletics programs in the initial 2019-20 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup Standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA). The Directors’ Cup tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletics programs for their performances throughout the year.
Arkansas, ranked No. 7, leads all Southeastern Conference programs and is one of only two league programs (Ole Miss) in the top 40 of the initial standings. The standings released on Thursday included men’s cross country and women’s cross country as well as women’s field hockey. The Razorbacks have 144 points in the first set of standings.
Last month, Coach Lance Harter led his top-ranked women’s cross country team to its first NCAA Cross Country title at Terre Haute, Indiana. The Razorbacks won the team title by six points, finishing with 96 after a third-place mark by Katie Izzo at 19:59.3. She was followed closely by Taylor Werner, who posted a fourth-place time at 20:11.1. Devin Clark (21st) and Carina Viljoen (28th) rounded out Arkansas All-America honorees with times of 20:32.2 and 20:39.8, respectively, while Lauren Gregory completed Arkansas’ scoring unit with a time of 21:05.0.
Prior to the NCAA Championship, the women’s cross country team captured its seventh-consecutive SEC championship (cross country, indoor and outdoor track) at the 2019 SEC Cross Country Championships before posting a perfect score at the NCAA South Central Regional to qualify for the NCAA Championship. Arkansas earned 100 Directors’ Cup points for winning the NCAA title.
The Razorback men’s cross country team also racked up some Directors’ Cup points with its finish at the NCAA Championship. Arkansas earned 44 points for its 30th place finish at the NCAA meet. Coach Chris Bucknam’s squad finished third at the SEC meet before earning a second-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional held at Agri Park in Fayetteville.
In 2018-19, Arkansas earned a No. 23 finish in the Directors’ Cup. A total of 13 Razorback sports scored in last year’s competition resulting in a top 25 finish for the fifth-consecutive year and the 10th time in the past 12 years. Arkansas finished first in the nation in the rankings among schools with 19 or fewer sports. In fact, Arkansas was the only school with 19 or fewer sports to earn a top 25 finish in the final Directors’ Cup standings.
The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.