CLEVELAND, Ohio - Williams has won the 2017-18 Division III Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, finishing the year with 1,126.50 points. The Ephs scored in 16 sports to earn their sixth-straight and 21st trophy in 23 years.
MIT (1001.50) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (939.50) rounded out the top three. The NESCAC had four institutions in the top-10 as Middlebury placed fifth and was followed by Tufts and Amherst in eighth and ninth place, respectively.
Williams earned 513.50 points behind a strong spring season. The Ephs had 11 teams finish in the top-10 nationally. The year was highlighted by women's soccer winning a national championship and the women's indoor track & field and women's golf teams earning national runner-up honors. The women's swimming & diving team and women's tennis teams also posted third-place finishes this season.
Middlebury ended in ffith-place with 905.00 total points. The Panthers scored in 15 sports, including winning national championship titles in field hockey and men's tennis, as well as posting a runner-up finish in women's lacrosse. The women's tennis team added a third-place finish this spring, while the women's ice hockey and men's basketball teams posted top-10 finishes at fifth and ninth, respectively. This marks the 15th straight year that Middlebury has finished in the top-10 in the standings.
Tufts turned in an eighth-place finish with 787.50 total points. The Jumbos' season was highlighted by the women's basketball and men's soccer team's Elite Eight appearances, as well as men's lacrosse reaching the national quarterfinal. Women's cross country and men's swimming & diving each earned seventh-place finishes, while the women's tennis team also garnered a top-10 finish this spring. Tufts scored points in 14 sports to finish in the top-10 for the sixth straight year and 10th year overall.
Finishing in ninth place with 773.50 total points was Amherst. The Mammoths scored in 15 sports, with the women's basketball team's national championship highlighting the season. Men's and women's lacrosse, women's swimming & diving and the men's and women's tennis teams all posted top-10 finishes for the Amherst this year. This is the 12th consecutive year and 19th time in 22 years that Amherst has finished in the top-10 of the standings.
All 11 institutions from the NESCAC made an appearance in the final 2017-18 standings. Following Williams, Middlebury Tufts and Amherst are Wesleyan (T-23rd - 522.50), Bates (32nd - 472.25), Bowdoin (36th - 444.00), Trinity (109th - 181.00), Colby (118th - 174.50), Connecticut College (127th - 159.80) and Hamilton (T-195th - 89.00).
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. The 2017-18 academic year was the first under a new scoring system. This year each institution needed to count the sports of men's soccer, women's soccer, men's basketball and women's basketball among the maximum 18 scoring teams. If any of those four teams did not advance to an NCAA Tournament the institution received zero points in those sports.