Stellar sports year nets national honors

Washington University finished fourth in the 2008-09 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Division III standings, as announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

The national championship won by the men’s basketball team in March helped WUSTL net its seventh consecutive top 10 finish in the Directors’ Cup, an honor that recognizes a school’s cumulative success in athletics. WUSTL finished fourth among Division III schools this year.

The Directors’ Cup competition has been in place for Division III schools since 1995 and awards points based on the order of finish in NCAA-sponsored championships. The fourth-place finish is the third highest in WUSTL history and marks the Bears’ seventh consecutive top 10 appearance: 2002-03 (fifth), 2003-04 (ninth), 2004-05 (third), 2005-06 (seventh), 2006-07 (fifth) and 2007-08 (second).

WUSTL was 14th after the fall season and fourth after the winter, accumulating 873 points overall, the second highest total in school history.

The Bears had 15 teams compete in NCAA tournament action in 2008-09. The highlight of the academic year was the second consecutive national title for men’s basketball, but not to be overlooked are the Bears’ six other overall top 10 NCAA finishes: women’s basketball (second), men’s tennis (fourth), women’s outdoor track and field (fifth), men’s swimming (seventh), volleyball (ninth) and women’s soccer (ninth). WUSTL also won nine University Athletic Association titles.

WUSTL lands 22 on scholar-athlete team

Washington University had a conference-best 22 student-athletes named to the first annual University Athletic Association (UAA) Presidents Scholar-Athlete Team.

The team is composed of 80 student-athletes representing eight UAA member institutions across eight men’s sports and eight women’s sports.

To achieve this recognition, a student-athlete must earn first-team All-UAA honors and carry a 3.50 or greater cumulative grade point average during the playing season. WUSTL student-athletes recognized this year are: junior volleyball player Erin Albers; senior volleyball player Alli Alberts; junior swimmer Dan Arteaga; junior national champion swimmer Alex Beyer; sophomore cross country and track athlete Kelli Blake; senior tennis player Nirmal Choradia; junior soccer player Libby Held; senior track athlete Pierre Hoppenot; senior volleyball player Audra Janak; senior swimmer Kevin Leckey; senior baseball player Zander Lehmann; senior track athlete Todd Mowry; senior basketball player Tyler Nading; junior cross country and track athlete Molly Schlamb; sophomore tennis player Isaac Stein; sophomore cross country and track athlete Taryn Surtees; junior track athlete Iby Umana; junior basketball player Zoe Unruh; sophomore softball player Claire Voris; senior basketball player Sean Wallis; senior baseball player Brian Williams; and sophomore tennis player Max Woods.

The UAA president’s council established this special recognition in spring 2009. The original recommendation to establish this honor came from the UAA student-athlete advisory committee and was supported by the UAA athletic administrators committee and delegates committee.