CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Bates College achieved the third-best finish in school history in the final Learfield Directors' Cup Division III standings for 2017–18, announced Thursday by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
The Learfield Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish at NCAA Championships.
Bates teams scored the 32nd most Directors' Cup points out of 329 institutions that scored. In all, there are 451 Division III member institutions.
Bates' 472.25 Directors' Cup points include 100 scored by the women's rowing team for winning its third NCAA Championship in the past four years. Bates also scored big points in women's indoor track and field (69.75), women's swimming (64.5), and men's swimming (61.5).
An adjustment in the way NCAA Championship points are assessed also benefited Bates, as the men's and women's cross country teams were both awarded 33rd place nationally based on their fifth-place finishes at NCAA Regionals, in spite of both teams' lack of an invitation to the NCAA Championship meet.
More impressively, Directors' Cup standings do not take into account the four Bates varsity teams that aren't eligible to compete in NCAA championships: football, men's rowing and men's and women's squash. Yet Bates men's rowing just completed its best-ever season, capped by becoming the first-ever NESCAC men's rowing team invited to compete in the IRA National Championships. The Bates women's squash team finished with a No. 17 national ranking by the College Squash Association, fifth among Division III schools; men's squash finished 20th nationally, sixth among Division III schools.
Bates achieved a strong follow-up to the 2016–17 academic year's 20th-place showing, which ranks as Bates' best ever. Bates has placed among the top 50 schools in Directors' Cup standings in six out of the past seven years, and among the top 35 in three of the past four.
How Bates' 472.25 Directors' Cup points were scored:
Women's Cross Country: 33 points (33rd place)
Men's Cross Country: 33 points (33rd place)
Women's Indoor Track & Field: 69.75 points (8th place)
Women's Swimming: 64.5 points (12th place)
Men's Swimming: 61.5 points (14th place)
Alpine & Nordic Skiing (combined): 38 points (18th place)
Men's Indoor Track & Field: 17 points (55th place)
Women's Rowing: 100 points (1st place)
Women's Outdoor Track & Field: 37.5 points (34th place)
Men's Outdoor Track & Field: 18 points (53rd place)
NESCAC Institutions in the Directors' Cup Final Standings:
1. Williams (1st); 2. Middlebury (5th); 3. Tufts (8th); 4. Amherst (9th); 5. Wesleyan (23rd); 6. Bates (32nd); 7. Bowdoin (36th); 8. Trinity (109th); 9. Colby (118th); 10. Connecticut College (127th); 11. Hamilton (195th)
Bates' Best 5 Years in the Directors' Cup Final Standings:
1. 2016–17 (20th); 2. 2014–15 (27th); 3. 2017–18 (32nd); 4. 2004–05 (33rd); 5. 1999–00 (35th)