CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Pomona-Pitzer Athletics has finalized an outstanding year with a 34th place finish in the 2015-16 NCAA III Learfield Directors' Cup standings with a total of 457.25 points. This final ranking is the highest placed finish in 20 years and is the second highest finish in Pomona-Pitzer history.
A strong spring sport finish in addition to a successful overall year for the Sagehens moved them up from 49th place a year ago to 34th overall in the final standings. There are 442 Division III schools.
"It's been an exciting year for Sagehen Athletics and it's reflected in this final year national ranking," said Director of Athletics Lesley Irvine. "To break in to the top 35 Division III departments in the country is a huge step forward for us and reflects the best finish by far in the last two decades. The Directors Cup celebrates and recognizes success across all sports. This is what we strive for and have been successful at all year. I am so proud of our coaches and student-athletes."
The Cup is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and Learfield Sports to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country, and is based on points earned by teams that compete in NCAA Championship events.
The Sagehens received contributions in the fall from women's soccer as they won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship and reached the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, which was their best finish in program history. Men's cross country finished in sixth place at the NCAA Championship Meet, which was the best finish in program history. The team also took second and the women's cross country team finished in fifth place at the West Regional Meet.
Pomona-Pitzer's point total also increased with swimming and diving programs in the winter as the women's team went on to place 17th at the NCAA National Championships after claiming the SCIAC Championship. This was their highest finish at the national meet since the 90's. The men's team also made a trip to the NCAA National Championships where they finished in 30th place overall.
The women's teams continued to lead the charge for the Sagehens in the spring for the Directors Cup final. Women's tennis won the ITA Indoor National Championship, advanced to the West Regional final and had two individuals and one doubles team qualify for the NCAA National Championships.
Women's lacrosse won the SCIAC Championship and also advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament, which is the best finish in Pomona-Pitzer women's lacrosse history.
Maya Weigel of the Women's track and field team ran in both the 1500 and 5000 meter runs, taking All-American honors in both events with second and third place finishes, respectively.
Finishing out the scoring for the Sagehens was men's track and field. The Sagehens had one All-American in sophomore Calvin Aylward who finished in fourth place in the javelin throw. Senior Corey Purcella finished in 11th place in the 3000-meter steeplechase and senior John Fowler finished in 19th in the 5000-meter run.
The Sagehens saw a historic overall 2015-16 sports season that led to their highest Directors Cup finish in 20 years. Pomona-Pitzer ends the year with four SCIAC Championships, five SCIAC Coaches of the Year, the ITA Coach of the Year and had 10 sports send their team or individuals to the Regional or National Championship level.
Final Directors Cup Standings can be found here: Final Directors Cup Standings
About the Program
Competing as the Sagehens, the shared athletics program of Pomona and Pitzer Colleges fields 21 varsity teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA's Division III. Pomona and Pitzer are both members of The Claremont Colleges, a unique consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate institutions in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Sagehen Athletics' rich history dates back more than a century.