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SOU Raiders achieve top 20 ranking in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup

CLEVELAND – Southern Oregon broke the top 20 in the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings for the first time, wrapping up one of the strongest years in department history with a best-ever 18th-place finish in the final rankings released Friday.


Southern Oregon continued its seven-year ascent from a ranking of 100 in 2007, with the Raiders claiming top-30 finishes in each of the past three years. The department ranked 29th in 2011 and 27th last season, with the previous best-ever ranking coming in 2002 when SOU finished 22nd.


The Raiders totaled 459.75 points, scoring 150 in the fall, 192 in the winter and 117.75 during the spring season. It began in the fall with a pair of top-five team finishes for the cross country and football programs. The men's cross country team placed in the top three for the third consecutive year with a second-place finish at the national meet to earn 90 points. Southern Oregon's football program shattered program and NAIA records en route to a Frontier Conference co-championship and a fifth-place ranking in the postseason poll to garner 60 points.


The winter season proved to be one of the strongest in department history as both the wrestling and men's basketball teams placed in the NAIA's top 10. Southern Oregon's wrestling program finished second at the NAIA Championships for the fourth time in five years to pick up 90 points. Two weeks later the men's basketball team advanced to the NAIA Sweet 16 for only the second time in program history, finishing 10th in the rankings to earn 53 points. The men's indoor track and field team placed 24th in only its second season of competition to add 49 points to the department's winter tally.


Outdoor track and field accounted for all of SOU's points in the spring. The men's team placed in the top10 at the national meet for the second consecutive year, finishing ninth to pick up 58.25 points. The Raider women placed 24th to claim the final 49.5 points of the 2012-13 year.


Southern Oregon ranked third among Cascade Collegiate Conference programs, trailing ninth-place Concordia (635.5) and 12th-place College of Idaho (602.5). Eastern Oregon finished 25th (420.75) to make the CCC the only conference with four top-25 schools.


The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports – six women's and six men's.


Oklahoma Baptist claimed the top spot for the first time, tallying 964 points. Complete standings and scoring explanations are available at NACDA's website, www.directorscup.org.


SOU Raiders achieve top 20 ranking in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup

Friday, June 14 2013, 03:29 PM CDT

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