Men's cross country and track earns third straight Program of the Year ranking

John Stansel '15 (center) competed for Bates at the 2013 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships as well as the 2014 Indoor Track & Field Championships this year, helping the Bobcats place among the top 10 Programs of the Year according to the USTFCCCA. (D3Photo) 

NEW ORLEANS -- The Bates College men's cross country and track and field program tied for ninth place in the scoring for the 2013-14 USTFCCCA Program of the Year award, Bates' third straight Top 10 finish.

The award, announced today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, is given to the institution that had the best combined team finishes in each of the NCAA's cross country and track field championships in an academic year. Bates is one of 15 programs in Division III that scored in all three NCAA Championships.

Last year Bates tied with Haverford for fourth place in the Program of the Year standings, and the Bobcats had sole possession of fourth place in the 2011-12 rankings.

The formula for the award is simple: each team's NCAA finish is added up, with the lowest number taking first place. This year, Wisconsin-La Crosse repeated atop the rankings after placing third in Division III in cross country, first in indoor track and second in outdoor track, for a total of six points. North Central (Ill.) was the repeat runner-up with 12, followed by Wisconsin-Oshkosh with 19, Wisconsin-Eau Claire with 21, Haverford (33), St. Olaf (51.5), Tufts (54.5), Jons Hopkins (57.5). Bates and Central (Iowa) College rounded out the top 10 with 70 points apiece. Tufts ended Bates' two-year run as the top New England team in the standings.

Bates finished 25th at the 2013 cross country nationals, 15th at indoor nationals and 26th at outdoor nationals, which took place two weeks ago at Ohio Wesleyan University.

USTFCCA Division III Program of the Year Standings