By Arnie Graff
Women”s sports at Brigham Young University are dominant and only getting better.
If there is any doubt about this statement, just ask the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics or USA Today.
They”ll answer by explaining that the Cougars are currently placed fifth in the overall fall rankings of the NACDA Directors” Cup, formerly known as the Sears Directors” Cup, and that the women”s sports teams have played a major role in the best start in school history.
The cup, which rates the overall success of each institution in up to twenty sports – 10 for men and 10 for women – throughout the entire school year, awarded the Cougars 248 points for the fall portion.
The fifth place showing is impressive considering how 158 schools were observed and even more impressive considering how 213 of the 248 points came from the women. That is nearly 86 percent for all those who aren”t mathematicians.
“We had the best fall we have ever had,” said BYU Women”s Athletic Director Elaine Michaelis. “Each one of our teams had great success and the opportunity to participate in NCAA competition. Congratulations are in order for each of our coaches.”
The women”s cross country team brought home the major jackpot when they placed second at Nationals and earned 90 points.
The women”s volleyball and soccer teams also had stellar seasons. The soccer team earned 73 points with their fifth place finish while the volleyball team brought home 50 points with their 17th place finish.
The men made their contribution through cross country, where they placed 19th in the nation earning 35 points.
As usual, the Cougars finished highest in the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State was next in 31st place with only 112 points.
The Cougars finished last fall in fifth place as well, but their point accumulation was 20 points lower than this year.
In fact, since the Directors” Cup was first awarded during the 1993-94 season, BYU has finished ranked in the top 25 seven of nine years. The highest finish for the Cougars was the 1998-99 season when they finished the year in twelfth place.
But the Cougars have never been off to a better start than they are this year thanks to the women”s dominance this past fall.
“The impact that the women”s sports teams have had thus far on the Directors” Cup proves how dominant they really are,” said AmyAnn Rupp, cross country/track and field Sports Information Director.
“I would hope that with how well the women athletes have performed that more and more fans will come to the games so that the athletes can continue to improve in front of larger crowds.”
With the massive success that the women have had, everyone is starting to get into it.
“I love going to the games and supporting women”s athletics,” said BYU student and devoted fan Brent Weaver. “I see the potential. I have caught the vision.”