PROVO, Utah (December 7) - A national championship in women's cross country, combined with a strong season by the men's team, has the BYU athletic program in the national spotlight early in the 1999-2000 Sears Cups standings.
The Sears Cup is awarded annually to the best overall athletic program in the nation. Points are awarded based on the national finishes of men's and women's teams in NCAA-sanctioned sports. Last year, the Cougars finished 12th, their highest season-ending ranking ever.
Early fall standings, released by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), are based on results from the conclusion of the cross country and field hockey seasons. The women's cross country title earned 100 points for BYU, while the men's 30th-place finish at nationals picked up an additional 22 points for the program.
Michigan is in first place with 202 points, followed by Arkansas (190), Wisconsin (165), Stanford (155), Colorado (127) and BYU (122). The Cougars are the only team from the Mountain West Conference to score any points in Sears Cup competition so far this year. Other teams winning national titles this year are Arkansas (men's cross country) and Maryland (field hockey).