Nittany Lions No. 9 in Final Directors' Cup Standings

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The women's track & field team placed a program-high fourth at NCAAs this year after National Championships from Shana Cox in the 400 and the 4x400 relay.

The women's track & field team placed a program-high fourth at NCAAs this year after National Championships from Shana Cox in the 400 and the 4x400 relay.

June 26, 2008

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State moved past Ohio State and edged Georgia by one point to finish No. 9 in the final 2007-08 NACDA U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings. The finish is Penn State's highest since placing No. 5 in 2002-03.

The Nittany Lions have placed in the Top 25 in all 15 years of the Directors Cup survey, with eight Top 10 finishes and four Top 5 placings. Penn State was No. 21 in the 2006-07 standings.

Boosted by the program-best fourth place NCAA Championships finish by the women's outdoor track and field team earlier this month, Penn State earned 1,041.0 Directors' Cup points for the year. Places 9-12 were very tight in the final standings, as Georgia was 10th with 1,040.0 points, followed by Ohio State (1,034.75) and Texas A&M (1,031).

The U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. The United States Sports Academy, based in Daphne, Alabama, is the program's sponsor. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports - 10 men's and 10 women's. The Directors' Cup is presented to the top collegiate athletics programs in the nation in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the NAIA.

With the 2007-08 NCAA Championships complete, Stanford took home its 14th straight Directors' Cup, tallying 1461.00 points. The rest of the Top 5 included UCLA (1,182), Michigan (1,154.50), Arizona State (1,146) and Texas (1129.50). Florida (1,126.75) was sixth, followed by California (1,120.0), LSU (1,085.0), Penn State and Georgia to complete the Top 10.

The other Big Ten institutions in the Top 40 of the Directors' Cup standings were: Wisconsin (18), Minnesota (28), Michigan State (29), Illinois (34), Purdue (35), Indiana (39) and Northwestern (40).

Behind NCAA titles from 11-time All-American Shana Cox (Westbury, N.Y.) in the 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay, the Penn State women's track and field team posted an outstanding fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships June 11-14. Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan's Nittany Lions recorded 11 All-America finishes at the championships.

The 4x400 relay, which included Dominique Blake (Bronx, N.Y.), Aleesha Barber (Decatur, Ga.), Gayle Hunter (Riverside, Calif), and Cox, was the program's third NCAA gold-medal finish and the first in a relay event. Cox, Penn State's Female Athlete of the Year for a second time, became the program's first NCAA Champion in a running event. Freshman Karlee McQuillen (Johnstown) earned ninth place in the javelin finishing as the top freshman in the country.

On the men's side, junior Clarence Smith (Coatesville), popped a wind-aided 53-01.50 (16.19) in the triple jump, earning a trip to the NCAA final and his first career All-America certificate with a ninth-place finish.

The Nittany Lions' Top 10 finish in the Directors' Cup caps a superlative 2007-08 sports year. Penn State captured NCAA Championships in women's volleyball and men's volleyball and Big Ten crowns in women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's gymnastics and women's outdoor track and field. Seventeen Penn State squads were represented in their respective NCAA Championships, with an impressive eight teams earning Top 5 finishes.

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