Colorado School of Mines was ranked seventh in the final installment of the 2010-11 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup NCAA Division II winter standings, as announced on March 31st by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Among Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference institutions, Mines is in second place behind Adams State. Final 2010-11 Learfield rankings are scheduled to be announced on June 17. Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA’s website at nacda.com.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, developed jointly by NACDA and USA Today, are determined by a scoring system that ranks success at the national level in 27 sports, although NCAA Division II schools are scored on only 14 (seven men’s and seven women’s) of those 27 sports to ensure equality among smaller schools. A high standing is therefore an indication of broad success across multiple men’s and women’s sports programs. Some highlights follow:
- Men’s cross country team placed fourth at the NCAA Division II Championships in 2010, earning its sixth consecutive top-10 finish at nationals. Sean Gildea, Mack McLain, Aaron Swift and Ben Zywicki garnered All-American honors. The Orediggers also placed third at both the RMAC Championships and the NCAA Division II Central Region Championships this season. Zywicki won the individual title at the Central Region Championships and was named USTFCCCA Central Region Men’s Athlete of the Year.
- The women’s soccer team made its third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2010. Anna Evans earned All-American recognition as Mines finished the year with an 11-6-4 overall record (9-4-1 RMAC) and qualified for the RMAC Tournament for the fourth straight season.
- The men’s soccer team finished the 2010 season with an overall record of 17-2-2 (12-1-1 RMAC). Mines made its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, third in program history, and won its first NCAA Tournament game. Ranked #1 in the country for four consecutive weeks early in the season, the Orediggers claimed both the RMAC regular-season and tournament titles. Tesho Akindele, Manville Strand and Chike Sullivan earned All-American recognition. Mines was ranked ninth in the final NSCAA top 25 national poll.
- The Mines football team (9-3 overall, 8-1 RMAC) qualified for the NCAA Division II football championships for the second time in program history. The Orediggers, who were RMAC Co-Champions, were ranked as high as #16 in the nation this fall. Marc Schiechl, who became the all-time NCAA Division II career leader in sacks during the 2010 season, as well as Clay Garcia, Cody Renken and Robbin Vinnola earned All-American recognition.
Mines’ 15th-place showing in 2009-10 marked the highest-ever finish for the Orediggers in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. Mines recorded a top-25 finish in 2006, as well, placing 22nd.