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Middlebury takes fifth overall in NCAA D-III

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College athletic program finished fifth among 329 NCAA Division III colleges and universities that registered points in the 2017-2018 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, which measure how well schools’ men’s and women’s teams competed overall in NCAA postseason action.
The Panthers earned their 15th straight top-10 finish, including winning the cup in 2011-2012. Middlebury has also finished in the top five 17 times since the 1995-96 academic year.
Williams won its sixth straight and 21st overall title with 1,126.5 points, followed by MIT (1,001.5), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (939.5), Emory (936.5) and Middlebury (905). Four NESCAC schools cracked the top 10, with Tufts placing eighth and Amherst in ninth.
The fall season opened with five Middlebury teams participating in NCAA play. The field hockey team won its second NCAA Championship in the past three years and third overall, finishing the season at 20-2.
The Panther women’s soccer team won an NCAA game and finished at 12-4-2, while the men’s squad was edged in the opening round of the NCAAs and posted a 12-7 mark. On the cross-country course, the women placed 11th and the men were 15th at the NCAA championships.
The winter season saw the Middlebury men’s basketball team make it to an NCAA Sectional semifinal and finish at 21-7. The women’s hockey team took home its third-straight NESCAC crown and 10th overall, finishing at 20-5-3 mark with a trip to the NCAA tournament. The Middlebury ski teams finished eighth at the NCAA championships, while the swim and indoor track & field squads combined for 118 points in the Directors’ Cup standings.
Middlebury capped the year with three teams making deep NCAA runs during the spring season, including a men’s tennis championship. The team finished its spring with a program record 25 wins (25-4).
The women’s team advanced to the NCAA semifinals, tying a program record with its 17 victories (17-4). The Panther women’s lacrosse team won four NCAA games before being edged in the final, finishing with a 20-3 record and a NESCAC crown. The men’s track and field team boasted All-American 800-meter runner Nathan Hill.

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