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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 30, 2014 - On the strength of three NCAA Championships thus far in 2013-14, Penn State has secured second place in the final Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings through the winter sports season.
The Nittany Lions earned their highest winter finish since placing No. 2 in 2002-03 and their sixth winter finish of No. 1 or 2. Penn State has finished in the final winter Top 10 in the Directors’ Cup in 20 of the 21 years the program has existed.
Penn State has earned 924.25 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup points thus far in 2013-14. Stanford leads with 1,151 points and is followed by Penn State, Florida (727), Michigan (718.25) and Wisconsin (705).
The men’s volleyball and men’s tennis teams have secured NCAA Championship berths thus far among Penn State’s spring teams. The men’s volleyball team plays No. 1 Loyola, Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in the NCAA semifinals in Chicago.
Having moved into the No. 2 slot in the Directors’ Cup standings after winning the NCAA Fencing and Wrestling titles in March, the Penn State men’s and women’s gymnastics teams added to the final Winter point totals at their respective NCAA Championships.
Coach Randy Jepson’s men’s gymnastics squad finished sixth at the NCAA Championships to earn 64 Directors’ Cup points. Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio), Craig Hernandez (Libertyville, Ill.) and Alex Torres (Catano, Puerto Rico) led the Nittany Lions with top eight performances to earn All-America honors.
Coach Jeff Thompson’s women’s gymnastics team finished 12th at the NCAA Championships, earning 68.25 Directors’ Cup points. Led by Lindsay Musgrove (League City, Texas) and Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) on the floor exercise, the Nittany Lions closed out the season with a score of 194.825 at the NCAA event. Penn State compiled its first 20-win regular season in program history, finishing 20-3.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings were developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports -- 10 women's and 10 men's.
Penn State is one of only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the Directors' Cup Top 25 in all 20 years, joined by Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas and UCLA. Last year, Penn State finished sixth in the Directors’ Cup, its highest finish in a decade.
Penn State has won three NCAA Championships in 2013-14, its most since winning three in 1999-2000. Penn State student-athletes, who have an 88 percent graduation rate, have won a conference-best seven Big Ten titles this year and 15 over the past two years.