Penn State Remains in Top 10 in Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Powered by the wrestling team’s fifth NCAA Championship in the past six years and a Top 10 finish by men’s and women’s fencing, Penn State Athletics continues to maintain residence in the Top 10 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings.

In the second winter sports compilation, Penn State is ranked No. 10, where the Nittany Lions finished after the fall, when they earned a ninth consecutive Top 10 fall finish. Penn State and Stanford are the nation’s only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past nine years.

Under the leadership of Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State was No. 8 in the final 2014-15 Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, earning its third consecutive Top 10 finish and 11th overall. The Nittany Lions are among only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 22 Learfield Directors’ Cup final standings.

In the latest compilation, the Penn State men’s and women’s fencing teams earned 72 Directors’ Cup points for their sixth place finish at the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Andrew Mackiewicz earned his second consecutive NCAA championship in men’s sabre and junior Jessie Radanovich captured the NCAA title in women’s epee. Under the direction of Coach Wes Glon, the duo delivered Penn State fencing’s 28th and 29th NCAA individual titles all-time.

Directed by Coach Tim Murphy, the Penn State women’s swimming and diving squad earned 48.5 Directors’ Cup points with its 25th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Senior Melissa Rodriguez broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke to place 11th and the 400 free relay unit finished 15th.

The Penn State men’s swimming and diving team earned 15 Directors’ Cup points and was led by freshman Hector Garcia Boissier, who finished 15th in one meter diving at the NCAA Championships. The Nittany Lions had three divers qualify for the NCAA meet for the first time since 1998.

Led by a pair of national champions and five finalists, the Penn State wrestling team was dominant in winning its fifth NCAA title in the past six years, scoring 123 points to runner-up Oklahoma State’s 97.5. Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, Nico Megaludis won the 125-pound national title and Zain Retherford captured the 149-pound crown to help give Penn State 100 Directors’ Cup points.

Guided Coach John Gondak, first-team indoor track and field All-Americans Rachel Fatherly and Brannon Kidder also boosted Penn State’s Directors’ Cup total, with the teams combining for 39 points.

Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup and is followed by Ohio State (736.5 points), Michigan (630.75), North Carolina (628), Texas (589), Syracuse (586.5) Minnesota (586), Virginia (583.75), Notre Dame (569) and Penn State (548).

Institutions from the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Pac-12 conferences claimed the top 10 spots in Learfield Directors’ Cup standings.

The Learfield Directors’ Cup standings will be updated later this month after the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 88 percent and have earned 191 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America selections, the fourth-highest total among Division I programs. The Nittany Lions have won 76 team national championships and 97 Big Ten Conference crowns all-time and their 29 NCAA Championships since 1992-93 are the most of any Big Ten institution.

The Learfield Directors’ Cup standings were developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 20 sports — 10 women’s and 10 men’s.

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