Penn State No. 2 in Learfield Directors' Cup Final Winter Standings
April 30, 2018
UUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- For the 13th consecutive year, Penn State Athletics has placed in the Top 5 in the Learfield Directors' Cup final winter standings.
Powered by the wrestling team's seventh NCAA Championship in the past eight years, the Nittany Lions are No. 2 in the final winter standings, maintaining their No. 2 ranking after the fall sports season. Penn State has placed No. 2 in the final winter standings in three of the past five years and improved from No. 3 in the 2017 final winter tally and No. 5 in the final 2016 winter standings.
Penn State has finished in the Top 10 in the final winter rankings in 24 of the 25 years of the Directors' Cup, with a total of 20 Top 5 finishes. The last time the Nittany Lions finished outside the Top 5 in the winter standings was in 2004-05.
The Nittany Lions' 889.25 Directors' Cup points are 103 more than the 786 points they had accumulated in the 2017 final winter standings.
Stanford leads the Directors' Cup and is followed by Penn State (889.25 points), Michigan (881.5), Ohio State (830.75), North Carolina State (722.75), Notre Dame (628.5), Minnesota (613.5), Texas (612.5), UCLA (603) and Florida (588). The Big Ten leads all conferences with four schools in the Top 10.
Penn State and Stanford are the nation's only institutions to place in the Top 5 in the final winter Directors' Cup standings in each of the past 13 years. The Nittany Lions and Cardinal also are the nation's only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors' Cup standings in each of the past 11 years.
A total of 15 Penn State teams have participated in their respective NCAA Championships thus far in 2017-18 and the Nittany Lion football team won the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
Stephen Nedoroscik Wins Second Consecutive NCAA Pommel Horse Title
The Nittany Lion women's gymnastics squad competed in the NCAA Regionals and garnered 46.5 Directors' Cup points. Freshman Lauren Bridgens competed in the all-around at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships for first-year coach Sarah Brown.
Four National Champions Boost Nittany Lion Wrestlers to NCAA Crown
Hodge Trophy recipient Zain Retherford captured his third consecutive 149-pound crown, finishing the season 31-0 and his career by winning a school record 94 consecutive matches. Jason Nolf (26-1) won the 157-pound title, and was joined by Vincenzo Joseph (165; 25-2) and Bo Nickal (184; 31-0) as the Nittany Lions' national champions, all for the second consecutive year. Named the NCAA Championships' Outstanding Wrestler, Nickal's pin in his championship bout sealed the NCAA team title for the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lion men's and women's fencing team placed fourth at the NCAA Championships, held in Penn State's Multi-Sport Facility, to earn 80 Learfield Directors' Cup points. Freshman Zara Moss was the NCAA runner-up in the women's saber and senior Andrew Mackiewicz advanced to the NCAA semifinals in men's saber to lead the Nittany Lions.
In its sixth year as a varsity program, the Penn State men's hockey team earned a berth in its second consecutive NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions were ousted by Denver, the 2017 NCAA Champion, and earned 25 Directors' Cup points.
Boosted by national champion David Lucas, the Penn State men's track and field team finished in a tie for 10th place at the NCAA Championships to earn 66.75 Directors' Cup. A sophomore, Lucas delivered a school record effort to win the NCAA weight throw title, becoming Penn State's first men's track and field indoor national champion since 1990. Directed by Coach John Gondak, the men's and women's track and field squads combined to earn 98.75 Directors' Cup points.
Ally McHugh Earns Silver at NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships
Hector Garcia Boissier Garcia earned honorable-mention All-America honors in one and three-meter diving at the NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championship and also participated in the platform event to help the men's swimming and diving team earn 44 Directors' Cup points.
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 (GSR) of 90 percent, which ties the Nittany Lions' all-time high. Nine teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA's November 2017 report. A school record 520 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the 2017 fall semester. Penn State ranks No. 4 among all Division I schools with 200 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including Emily Ogle (women's soccer) and Haleigh Washington (women's volleyball) during the 2017 fall semester.
Penn State's 50 NCAA Championships all-time (78 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 31 NCAA titles since 1992-93 lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 107 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including conference titles in women's soccer, women's volleyball and wrestling so far in 2017-18.