CLEVELAND – Following the completion of the NCAA Division II Winter Championships season, the University of Alaska Anchorage ranks a program-record 10th place in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings.

The latest rankings were released Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, marking the two-thirds point in the 2011-12 campaign. The rankings – which quantify the national success of all 286 NCAA Div. II programs – will be finalized after the completion of the Spring Championships season in June.

Boosted by a recent 5th-place NCAA finish from its ski team (75 points), an Elite Eight appearance by the women’s basketball team (73 points) and a 2nd-round berth by the men’s basketball team (50 points), UAA’s current placing and total points (361) are its best ever at the conclusion of winter competition, topping its 13th-place standing and 332 points from last year.

The Seawolves had been ranked 13th  this year’s fall standings, thanks to the women’s cross country (6th place, 75 pts), men’s cross country (8th place, 66 pts) and volleyball (1st Rd., 25 pts) teams.

UAA is the top-ranked institution among the 10 schools of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, leading Western Washington (18th) and Seattle Pacific (29th).

The Seawolves’ final two sports are men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, both of which have already qualified individuals provisionally for the May 24-26 NCAA meet.

UAA finished a school-record 26th place with 404 points in the 2010-11 Directors’ Cup standings.

Defending champion Grand Valley (Mich.) State leads the competition yet again with 550 points thus far.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup is a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's NCAA finish in up to 14 sports – seven women’s and seven men’s.

UAA sponsors only 11 sports – two of which, men’s and women’s skiing, have a combined national meet – among the lowest totals of any Div. II school.

2011-12 Learfield Sports Director’s Cup
NCAA Div. II Final Winter Standings
(as of Mar. 29)
Rk. School                     Pts
 1) Grand Valley State (Mich.) 550
 2) Grand Canyon (Ariz.)       527
 3) Ashland (Ohio)             492.5
 4) Adams State (Colo.)        445.5
 5) Augustana (S.D.)           404.5
 6) UC San Diego               388
 7) Indianapolis               375.5
 8) Western State (Colo.)      365.75
 9) Colorado School of Mines   361.75
10) ALASKA ANCHORAGE           361

Other West Region/GNAC Schools in top 100
18) Western Washington         303
28) Chico State (Calif.)       257
29) Seattle Pacific            245.5
34) Alaska Fairbanks           223.5
45) Cal State Los Angeles      204
99) Western Oregon             103