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Closing In on Another Cup

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June 1, 2009
Gary Pine

AZUSA, Calif. – Azusa Pacific University took a significant step closer to claiming its fifth straight Directors’ Cup when the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) released the latest standings for the NAIA.

Azusa Pacific, which has been in first place since the initial tally of the 2008-09 season back in early December, strengthened its hold on the top spot when 7 spring sports national championships were scored by NACDA last week.

According the latest scores, Azusa Pacific now leads the NAIA standings with 964 points and is more than 140 points ahead of conference rival Concordia University, which is second with 822 points.

The Cougars, who entered the spring postseason with 661 points, registered 100 more points with their national championship in men’s track & field and then tacked on 80 more with a fourth-place finish in women’s track & field. A fifth-place tie in men’s tennis garnered an additional 70 points while women’s tennis collected 53 points for tying for ninth at its national tournament.

All championships have now been tallied for the 2008-09 season with the exception for baseball, which will be added when the final standings are released at the NACDA convention in Orlando, Fla., June 19.

At this stage of the season, no school can catch Azusa Pacific for the 2008-09 Directors’ Cup. Concordia will not score in baseball, and Lindenwood University, which is in third place with 797.5 points, will record some marginal points in baseball. However, the Cougars current score of 964 points will be adjusted once the rules of scoring are applied. In particular, only 6 men’s sports and 6 women’s sports can count for each school in the final NAIA standings, and currently 7 women’s sports are included in Azusa Pacific’s tally. The Cougars are likely to lose the 53 points secured by women’s tennis, but they will probably pick up at least 30 more points in baseball, and those points will stand.

Sponsored by NACDA, the Directors’ Cup is an annual national award bestowed on the best intercollegiate athletics program based on postseason progression of each sport for a particular school.

Azusa Pacific won the 4 previous Directors’ Cups of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Simon Fraser University (1997-2001) is the only school in NAIA history to win 5 consecutive Directors’ Cup.

Click here to view the NACDA release on the current standings and the complete scoring table for the NAIA.