CLEVELAND, Ohio – For the second year in a row, the University of Alaska Anchorage ranks among the top five in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup NCAA Div. II standings following the Fall Championships season, putting the Seawolves among the top 2 percent of all D-II institutions.

The latest rankings – which feature UAA at No. 4 – were released Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, marking the one-third point in the 2016-17 campaign. The annual all-sport competition – which quantifies the national success of all 306 NCAA Div. II programs – is updated after the Winter Championships season in April, and finalized following the Spring Championships in June.

With its best rank and point total (235.5) ever at this point in the competition, UAA and Great Northwest Athletic Conference rival Western Washington (No. 6, 214) are tops among all 38 D-II West Region programs, while it marks the eighth straight year that the Seawolves rank in the top 20.

UAA’s points come on the strength of a national runner-up finish in volleyball (90 points), a 5th-place showing for the men’s cross country team (75 pts), and an 8th-place finish for women’s cross country (70.5 pts). Defending champion Grand Valley State (Mich.) leads again with 350 points, followed by Colorado School of Mines (324), LIU Post (N.Y.) with 257, UAA, and Shippensburg (Pa.) with 233.5.

“Once again our student-athletes and teams are performing at a very high level,” said UAA Athletic Director Keith Hackett. “The success of our Fall sports is a tribute to our athletes and coaches. Seawolf student-athletes continue to represent our university, city and state very well on the national stage. I’m extremely proud of the young women and men who represent UAA and the success they are having.”

The 4th-place standing is one spot better than UAA’s previous high in the December update, established last year. The Seawolves went on to the program’s best-ever final standing of No. 8 last spring.

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.