Middlebury College seventh in D-III sports programs

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College athletics program finished seventh among 322 NCAA Division III colleges and universities that registered points in the 2014-2015 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. The Panthers earned their 12th straight top-10 finish, including winning the cup in 2011-12.
In this competition, schools are given points in 18 intercollegiate sports based on how well each team performed.  The overall champion is the institution with the highest number of points.
Williams won its third straight and 18th overall title with 1,053 points, followed by Johns Hopkins (1,016.75), M.I.T. (961), Washington-St. Louis (944) and Amherst (918.50). Middlebury finished with 821.50 points, third among NESCAC schools. Four NESCAC schools finished in the top 10 of this year’s standings.
The Panther field hockey team highlighted the fall season, advancing to the final four for the sixth time in school history. The Panthers captured their third consecutive NESCAC championship and tallied a 19-2 record. The women’s cross country team turned in a sixth-place finish at the NCAA championship, while the men finished 13th.
The winter saw the women’s hockey team reach at least the NCAA tournament quarterfinal round for the 12th time, while the ski team finished eighth at the NCAA championship in Lake Placid with an individual national Alpine championship from Rob Cone.
Days later, Alison Maxwell won the national title in the women’s mile to lead the women’s indoor track & field team to a 10th-place team finish at the NCAA meet, while athletes from the men’s and women’s swimming teams earned points for the Panthers.
Middlebury produced its best overall season in the spring, as three teams advanced to at least the quarterfinal round of their respective NCAA tournaments.
The men’s tennis team fell in the NCAA championship match to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and tied for the second-most wins in program history with a 22-4 record. In head coach Missy Foote’s final season, the women’s lacrosse team lost in the national semifinals in Philadelphia, falling to eventual champion Cortland State. The women’s tennis team was defeated in the NCAA quarterfinals, while the men’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA round of 16.
The men’s golf team returned to the NCAA Tournament as well, placing in a tie for 24th. Several Panther athletes from the women’s outdoor track & field team also tallied points for Middlebury.
Recent Middlebury finishes:
• 2013-14 — 10th.
• 2012-13 — 3rd.
• 2011-12 — 1st.
• 2010-11 — 2nd.
• 2009-10 — 4th.
• 2008-09 — 2nd.
• 2007-08 — 5th.
• 2006-07 — 2nd.
• 2005-06 — 3rd.
• 2004-05 — 2nd.
• 2003-04 — 3rd.

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