CSU Ranked 9th in National Sports Directors Cup Standings

Columbus State University sits in ninth place in the latest Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

CSU's successful fall saw all three of its teams, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s soccer, advance to their respective national championship competitions.


Both of the cross country programs advanced to the national championship race in the same season for just the second time in school history, the first coming in 2009. 

On the men’s side, the Cougars won five out of seven meets they competed in, including the Peach Belt Conference and the Southeast Regional races. It was the first time the program has won the Southeast regional and marked their fourth appearance in five years in the national championship race.

 

Stephen Bowers, Jacob Dirkman, Heath Lamb, Ryan McFall and Silas Rugut all finished in the Top 25 at the regional race, earning them All-Region honors. Dirkman crossed the finish line first four times for the Cougars while Rugut was the top finisher in the other three races.

The women won four of their seven meets and had a pair of second-place finishes as well. After narrowly missing out on their seventh PBC Championship in the past eight years, the Lady Cougars two weeks later won their second ever Southeast Regional, advancing to the NCAA Championship meet.

A trio of runners were named to the All-Region squad for their efforts: Kristina Delpesche, Moneque English and Rayna Green. 

Head coach J.D. Evilsizer was also acknowledged for his efforts this season as he was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association men's and women's Southeast Region Coach of the Year.

 

The women’s soccer team won at least 15 games for the eighth straight season, finishing with an 18-3-2 record. This year’s squad defeated five teams that were ranked or received votes in the final Top 25 poll as they closed out the season in ninth place. 

Statistically, CSU ranked among the nation’s best as their 0.55 goals against average ranked 10th overall, and they finished 28th in scoring offense, putting in 2.26 goals a contest. Stephanie Lowery finished second nationally in game-winning goals with seven while Mary Mancin had the 13th best goals against average, posting a 0.566 mark. 

The Learfield Sports Director’s Cup was developed jointly by NACDA and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 14 sports, seven on each the men’s and women’s side.

Columbus State’s highest ever finish in the final standings was after the 2006-2007 academic year, when they finished 34th.  CSU’s previous best ranking after the fall season came in the 2009-2010 year when they were 28th.

With two more championship sports to be decided in the fall, the next standings update will be released on Thursday, Dec. 19.

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