CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following the completion of the NCAA Division II Fall Championships season, the University of Alaska Anchorage ranks 17th in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings, putting the Seawolves among the top 6 percent of all D-II institutions.

The latest rankings were released Wednesday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, marking the one-third point in the 2012-13 campaign. The rankings – which quantify the national success of all 300 NCAA Div. II programs – will be updated after the Winter Championships season in April, then finalized following the final national competitions in June.

UAA and Great Northwest Athletic Conference rival Western Washington (14th) are tops among the 36 D-II West Region programs, while it marks the fourth straight year that the Seawolves rank in the top 20 following fall competition.

UAA’s 158.5 points come on the strength of top-6 finishes from its men’s and women’s cross country teams at the NCAA Championships in November. The men – led by individual nation champion Micah Chelimo – finished 3rd to earn 85 Directors’ Cup points, while the women – with NCAA runner-up Susan Tanui – earned 73.5 points for their 6th-place finish.

The Seawolves are coming off their best year in the Director’s Cup final standings with a 16th-place finish in 2011-12. UAA was 13th with 163 points after the fall standings last year.

Colorado School of Mines (333.5 pts) currently leads defending champion Grand Valley State (280) after the completion of the seven Fall Championships.

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 13 sports – two of which, men’s and women’s skiing, have a combined national meet.