June 6, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - With the men's and women's basketball teams and men's golf squad all reaching the national semifinals and women's rowing finishing third at nationals, Western Washington University placed 12th nationally among 312 NCAA Division II schools in the final 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings released Tuesday, June 6.
It is the Vikings' fifth straight Top 15 finish. They also placed sixth in 2009-10, seventh in 2010-11, 10th in 2008-09 and 13th in 2011-12.
The Vikings finished with 526.50 points, 167.00 in the fall, 192.00 in the winter and 167.50 in the spring.
WWU's national placing was the highest among Great Northwest Athletic Conference schools with Alaska Anchorage second at No.21 (485.50).
Besides the finishes in men's and women's basketball, men's golf and women's rowing, the Vikings reached the Far West Regional in women's soccer and the regional semifinals in volleyball.
Grand Canyon AZ won the Division II all-sports championship for the second consecutive year with 954.75 points. Grand Valley State MI, which had taken the previous eight titles, was second at 939.25.
WWU was the GNAC all-sports champion for the fifth straight year and for the ninth time in the 12-year history of the league. The Vikings, who also won both the men's and women's crowns, captured conference titles in women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's indoor and outdoor track & field and men's and women's golf. WWU's eight championships and 206 total points were both GNAC records.
The Vikings have now had 10 straight top 50 national finishes and been among the top 100 in each of their first 15 seasons as a NCAA II member.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup is a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's NCAA finish in up to 14 sports - seven women's and seven men's.
While having success in competition, Western student-athletes continued to be outstanding in the classroom. The Vikings' graduation rate of 69 percent was 14 percent higher than the NCAA II national average. Using the NCAA Academic Success Rate, WWU graded out to 88 percent, 15 percentage points higher than the NCAA II national average.
And WWU student-athletes also were involved in the community, raising $10,315 in an American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraiser. Earlier this year, they raised over $2,000 from four other fundraisers - Dig Pink (volleyball), Pink Zone (women's basketball), Coaches vs. Cancer (men's basketball), and Strikeout Cancer (softball). Altogether, $45,000 has been raised over the last three years.
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