Nittany Lions No. 5 in Learfield Directors' Cup Standings

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April 10, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Powered by the wrestling team's sixth NCAA Championship in the past seven years, Penn State Athletics is ranked No. 5 in the latest Learfield Directors' Cup standings.

In the second winter sports compilation, Penn State remains in the Top 5, as the Nittany Lions seek their 12th consecutive Top 5 finish in the Learfield Directors' Cup final winter standings.

The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 10 in the second winter Directors' Cup compilation of 2015-16 and have nearly 100 more points in 2016-17 than at the same juncture last year.

In the latest tally, the Penn State fencing team, under the direction of head coach Wes Glon, received 69 Directors' Cup points for its seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships. Teodora Kakhiani and two-time NCAA Champion Andrew Mackiewicz earned All-America accolades.

The Nittany Lions also earned 45.5 points at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. Guided by Coach Tim Murphy, Olympian Shane Ryan completed his brilliant Penn State career with a pair of top 10 finishes to become a three-time All-American.

Including the upcoming NCAA Men's and Women's Gymnastics Championships, a total of 15 Penn State teams have participated in their respective NCAA Championships thus far in 2016-17 and the Nittany Lion football team won the Big Ten Championship and played in the Rose Bowl. Penn State has won a conference-best six Big Ten Championships this year.

The Learfield Directors' Cup standings will be updated in late April and will include points that Penn State earns in the NCAA Men's Hockey and NCAA Men's and Women's Gymnastics Championships.

 

 

Led by an NCAA Championship record-tying five national champions, the Penn State wrestling team was dominant in winning its second consecutive and sixth NCAA title in the past seven years. Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, the Nittany Lions scored a school record 146.5 points to easily surpass runner-up Ohio State's total of 110, and earn 100 Directors' Cup points.

Hodge Trophy winner Zain Retherford captured his second consecutive 149-pound crown, finishing the season 28-0 and earning the NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler. Jason Nolf (27-0) won the 157-pound title, and was joined by Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184) as the Nittany Lions' national champions.

Guided Coach John Gondak, the Penn State women's track and field team captured its fourth Big Ten Indoor Championship and the men's squad earned a program best second place finish. The women's team finished in a tie with Stanford for 10th at the NCAA Championships to earn 66.75 Directors' Cup and combined with the men's squad to earn 102.25 points.

Sophomore Ally McHugh earned two Top 16 finishes at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships to provide an additional 37.5 points to Penn State's Directors' Cup total.

Stanford leads the Directors' Cup and is followed by Wisconsin (692 points), Ohio State (664), Michigan (661.25), Penn State (647.25), North Carolina (625), USC (615.5), Kentucky (601), Oregon (560) and UCLA (530). The Nittany Lions' Directors' Cup point total is nearly 100 points higher than at this time last year (548).

The Big Ten has four institutions in the Top 5 and is tied with the Pac-12 Conference with four spots in the Top 10 in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings.

The Nittany Lions earned their 10th consecutive Directors' Cup Top 10 fall finish, placing No. 7. Penn State and Stanford are the nation's only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors' Cup standings in each of the past 10 years.

The Nittany Lions are among only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 23 Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.

Led by Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State has one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men's, 15 women's). Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 195 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including two this past fall in first-team honoree Tyler Yazujian (football) and third-team honoree Haleigh Washington (women's volleyball).

The Nittany Lions' 49 NCAA Championships all-time (77 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State's 30 NCAA titles since 1992-93 leads all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 103 Big Ten Championships since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including a conference-leading six thus far in 2016-17.

The Learfield Directors' Cup was 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 NCAA Championships.

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