CLEVELAND, OH – The Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens ended the 2017-18 season with the 40th overall ranking in the Division III Learfield Directors' Cup.
The Learfield Directors' Cup ranks the nation's athletic programs and 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 NCAA Championships.
The Sagehens are coming off of their best Directors' Cup finish last season where they cracked the top-30 for the first time at No. 29 and have finished inside the top-40 in each of the last three years. Pomona-Pitzer also claimed its first ever Men's SCIAC All-Sports Trophy this year after winning four SCIAC Championships and having all men's teams qualify for the conference postseason this year.
"It's been another fantastic year for the Sagehens", said Director of Athletics, Lesley Irvine. "To be in the national top-40 for the last three years is a significant achievement and speaks to our consistent competitiveness at the national level. We are so proud of our student-athletes who are achieving incredible things in the classroom and on the field."
The Learfield Directors' Cup awards each institution points in a pre-determined number of sports for men and women. It recognizes institutions which have a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's.
The Sagehens ended the final fall standings ranked No. 54 with 98.50 total points. 73.5 of them coming from Men's Cross Country who ended the season tied for their highest finish in program history at 6th at the NCAA Championships. For their efforts, first year Head Coach Jordan Carpenter received both West Regional and SCIAC Coach of the Year honors with two All-Americans in Colin Mulligan and James Kinney as well as the team's first SCIAC Championship since 2005.
Also scoring points for the Sagehens was the Men's Water Polo team who advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season as they captured back-to-back SCIAC regular season and tournament championships. Pomona-Pitzer ended the year with a 24-11 overall record as the No. 18 team in nation with Division III Player of the Year honors in goalkeeper Daniel Diemer and All-Americans Adam Ward, Jacob Niskey and Joseph Schafer.
The Sagehens rose nine spots from the final fall standings at No. 43 for the final winter standings with swim and dive earning points with a historic run at the NCAA Championships. The men's team finished in eighth place while the women's team took ninth overall. This was the first time in swim and dive history that both programs placed inside the top-10. For their efforts, the men's team tallied 70.5 points while the women's team added 69.5 to the directors' cup total.
The Sagehens ended the swim and dive NCAA Championships with 21 combined All-Americans including the first ever men's National Champion as Lukas Menkhoff won the 100 Yard Breaststroke with a time of 54.42.
Pomona-Pitzer ended the year with a strong finish in the spring that rose their final rankings 14 spots down to No. 40 overall.
The Sagehens were led in the spring by women's tennis who scored 64 points with their ninth place finish in the NCAA Tournament as they fell in the West Regional Championship. Caroline Casper earned All-American honors for the women as she made a singles run into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament where she fell to Juli Raventos of Williams College. Maryann Zhao and Emily Chen also earned All-American honors for their performance in the ITA Fall Regional where they won the doubles tournament to bring the total to three on the year for the women's program.
The Pomona-Pitzer Track and Field teams finished up their spring seasons on a high-note as the women placed 21st overall and scored 52.5 points in the cup with All-American performances from Helen Guo who took second in the 5k and Jessica Finn who finished sixth in the Javelin. On the men's side, the Sagehens ended in 27th overall scoring 45.5 points as Andy Reischling doubled up on his All-American honors with a fourth place finish in the 10K and then took fourth in the 5K.
The Sagehens also earned an NCAA appearance from the women's water polo team as they won their second-straight SCIAC Championship to advance to the Opening Round of the NCAA Tournament where they fell to UC San Diego. The Sagehens scored 25 points for their season led by ACWPC Coach of the Year in Alex Rodriguez, ACWPC Player of the Year in Jocelyn Castro along with All-Americans Natalie Hill, Morgan McCracken, Kahea Kahaulelio and Anna Yu.
The Sagehens also had successful season from other programs who did not score points for the Learfield Directors' Cup. The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team finished their second in third place in the SCIAC and made a SCIAC Championship appearance.
The softball team had their most successful season in program history as they finished the year 27-15 overall and broke a single-season record for overall and conference wins in a single season as well as made their deepest run in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament in program history. Liz Rodarte took home SCIAC Player of the Year honors and the Sagehens had six players take home All-SCIAC honors.
The men's tennis team ended the year ranked No. 11 according to ITA and finished second in the SCIAC after falling in the SCIAC Championship. While the Sagehens did not qualify to compete as a team in the NCAA Tournament, freshman Jed Kronenberg earned All-American honors after making a run into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Tournament.
The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Lacrosse team also appeared in the SCIAC Championship game after they finished in third place in the conference and defeated No. 2 Occidental to advance to the Championship game. The Sagehens also had had SCIAC Postseason appearances from baseball and men's and women's soccer.