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Cougars in First in the Cup

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March 29, 2010
Sammi Sheppard

AZUSA, Calif.-- Azusa Pacific looks to become the first-ever National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school to win the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup 6 years in a row after moving back into first place through the winter sports with 663 points.

During the winter postseason play, the Cougars finished in top 10 for 5 sports, including a first-place finish in men’s track and field, Azusa Pacific’s 34th NAIA championship title in school history.

The Cougars tallied 90 points each for second-place finishes in men’s and women’s basketball. Azusa Pacific’s swimming and diving team added to the total with a best ever sixth-place showing (72 points) at the NAIA Championship Meet. Women’s track and field supplied an additional 80 points with their fourth-place finish in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championship Meet.

The Directors’ Cup is awarded to the schools with broad-based athletic programs that secure the most amount of points in postseason competition in an academic year. Points are awarded based on how each team finishes in competition, a first-place finish receives 100 points and then points trickle down after that.

Of the top 11 NAIA schools in the current Directors’ Cup Standings, 5 are from the Golden State Athletic Conference. Joining Azusa Pacific are Biola (third), Fresno Pacific (fifth), Concordia (eighth) and California Baptist (11th).

Azusa Pacific had 231 points at the end of the fall season, placing it in second behind Simon Fraser University from British Columbia, Canada. However, the Cougars tallied 432 points between 5 winter championship events during the month of March, the most points ever recorded by the Cougars in a single season and second most in NAIA Directors' Cup history.

Directors’ Cup standings will be updated again on June 3, and then the final standings will be released June 23. Azusa Pacific (2005- ) and Simon Fraser (1997-01) are the only NAIA schools ever to win 5 straight Directors’ Cup crowns.

Click here to view the current standings.