CLEVELAND – The Southern New Hampshire University athletic department finished 61st in the final release of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings Thursday, as it totaled 300.25 points for its second best finish ever.
The Penmen, who land inside the top 100 for the eighth consecutive season, are the second-ranked Northeast-10 institution in the standings, which include 268 Division II schools. The Penmen had steadily improved since being ranked 138th nearly a decade ago, including three straight top-80 finishes that culminated in their top showing at No. 41 in 2015-16. After jumping up to 79 last season for its fifth top-80 finish, SNHU is into the top 75 for the third time this year.
Southern New Hampshire had a total of six teams compete in NCAA Championships, claiming nearly 80 percent of its points thanks to a strong spring. In fact, the 237.35 spring points for the Penmen ranked 19th of the 268 squads. Baseball and men's tennis collected the highest number of points with 64 each. Baseball advanced to the NCAA East Super-Regional in the first year of the new format, while men's tennis made it to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in program history, becoming the first NE10 team to venture that far since 2002. Men's golf checked in next with 59.25 points, as it captured its first NCAA Atlantic/East title and moved on to the NCAA National Championships for the second time. Softball made it to the NCAA East 1 Regional final to earn 50 points.
Men's cross country (38) and women's soccer (25) garnered the only non-springs points, as the former qualified for the NCAA National Championships for the first time and the latter received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Learfield Directors' Cup was 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 NCAA Championships.
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