College blazes to first in Learfield Directors’ Cup

The College clinched its 16th Learfield Sports Director’s Cup for the 2012-13 fall and spring seasons after beating out 440 other Div. III schools.

The College took the top spot by nearly 300 points over second-place Emory, an indication of the dominance of the athletic program. The College finished with 1273.75 points, followed by Emory with 986.50 points and Middlebury with 941.75. The College has won 16 of the 18 Directors’ Cups in the history of the competition.

Director of Athletics Lisa Melendy attributed the College’s success to the “broad based programming and the pursuit of excellence” that characterizes the focus of the athletic department. Melendy noted remarkable performances by many teams, including Final Four appearances for men’s soccer and women’s

The College has won the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup for Div. III for the 16th time.
The College has won the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup for Div. III for the 16th time.

basketball as well as a Div. III championship for men’s tennis, its first title in 11 years. She mentioned, however, that the College “had so many outstanding performances that it is difficult to single them out.”

Some of these outstanding performances included those by women’s rowing and women’s tennis, as both teams won their eighth Div. III championships, testifying to the incredible level of success of the College’s many athletic programs.

The athletic department, however, does not consider the Directors’ Cup to be the ultimate measure of the success of the athletic program. Melendy said the athletic teams primarily “focus on getting better and enjoying the experience,” but acknowledged that “it is a great honor and a lot of fun” to win the distinction of champion.

Williams won the Cup after losing for the first time in 13 years to Middlebury and Emory in the 2011-12 competition. Before then, the College had not lost since 1998. Melendy affirmed that the College maintains its powerhouse status through “the sheer number of teams combined with outstanding coaches and highly motivated and hard-working student athletes that … create this sort of success.”

For the coming year, Melendy predicted that many of the same schools that have done well in prior years will be the College’s main competition for the Cup.