Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has again placed among the top NCAA Division III athletic programs, finishing third in the Learfield Directors’ Cup.
Elevated by three national championships, the Athenas and Stags trailed only Williams College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the final 2017-2018 Directors’ Cup standings.
CMS is the lone West Coast program at the top end of the standings, and the only one from the West Coast to place in the top-5 since 2000. In the 23-year history of the Directors’ Cup, the Cup standings have been dominated by New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools, with Williams placing first 21 times.
Now consistently among the elite Division III athletic programs, CMS has moved up 77 places in the Directors’ Cup over the last decade. This is the second-straight year that CMS has finished in the top-5, having placed fourth last year. CMS Director of Athletics Terrance Tumey credited broad support from the campuses, alumni, and parents for the consistent academic and athletic excellence of CMS.
“It takes great teamwork from students, faculty, and coaches across three colleges for CMS to compete with programs like Williams and MIT,” Tumey said. “I'm so grateful to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps community for the support that has brought us to this level."
Late successes by women’s teams propelled CMS’ final ranking. CMS went into the spring season ranked 17th. National championships by the women’s golf and tennis teams helped CMS score more points in the spring than any other program in Division III. Women’s volleyball had also won the national championship in November. The volleyball title was the first women’s NCAA championship for the Athenas.
“Our scholar-leader-athletes in CMS have captured our imagination — a deep belief in the power of focus, passion, resilience, and teamwork to take on our greatest challenges,” CMC President Hiram Chodosh said. “Our Athenas even inspired the central Odyssey themes in the 2018 commencement address by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.”
This year, 14 CMS teams made the NCAA Championships and scored points for the Directors’ Cup standings. In addition to the three national championships, three other CMS teams finished in the top-10 nationally: women’s outdoor track & field (fourth), men’s tennis (fifth), and men’s golf (ninth). Women’s cross country (12th), men’s cross country (29th), men’s basketball (17th), women’s lacrosse (17th), softball (17th), women’s indoor track & field (18th), women’s swim & dive (19th), and men’s swim & dive (25th) also represented CMS at Nationals this year.
The Directors’ Cup program honors institutions that achieve success in many sports, and awards points based on a team’s finish at the NCAA Championships. The overall champion is the institution that records the highest number of points in their division’s Directors’ Cup standings.
Point totals for colleges are calculated from the top 18 teams in their programs; Williams and MIT each field more than 30 teams, versus 21 for CMS.
– Chris Watts