Penn State finishes No. 2 in Learfield Directors' Cup final winter standings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the 13th consecutive year, Penn State Athletics has placed in the top five in the Learfield Directors’ Cup final winter standings.

Powered by the wrestling team’s seventh NCAA championship in the past eight years, the Nittany Lions are No. 2 in the final winter standings, maintaining their No. 2 ranking after the fall sports season. Penn State has placed No. 2 in the final winter standings in three of the past five years and improved from No. 3 in the 2017 final winter tally and No. 5 in the final 2016 winter standings.

Penn State has finished in the top 10 in the final winter rankings in 24 of the 25 years of the Directors’ Cup, with a total of 20 top-five finishes. The last time the Nittany Lions finished outside the top five in the winter standings was in 2004-05.

The Nittany Lions’ 889.25 Directors’ Cup points are 103 more than the 786 points they accumulated in the 2017 final winter standings.

Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup and is followed by Penn State (889.25 points), Michigan (881.5), Ohio State (830.75), North Carolina State (722.75), Notre Dame (628.5), Minnesota (613.5), Texas (612.5), UCLA (603) and Florida (588). The Big Ten leads all conferences with four schools in the top 10.

Penn State and Stanford are the nation’s only institutions to place in the top five in the final winter Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past 13 years. The Nittany Lions and Cardinal also are the nation’s only institutions to place in the top 10 in the final fall Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past 11 years.

A total of 15 Penn State teams have participated in their respective NCAA championships thus far in 2017-18 and the Nittany Lion football team won the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Nedoroscik wins second consecutive NCAA pommel horse title

In the latest compilation, the Penn State men’s gymnastics team earned 64 Directors’ Cup points by placing sixth at the NCAA championships. Led by Coach Randy Jepson, sophomore Stephen Nedoroscik won his second consecutive NCAA pommel horse title, becoming just the third Nittany Lion to win a pair of pommel horse national titles. Sam Zakutney earned two All-America honors and Colin Coates and Greg Tamargo also were All-Americans.

The Nittany Lion women’s gymnastics squad competed in the NCAA regionals and garnered 46.5 Directors’ Cup points. Freshman Lauren Bridgens competed in the all-around at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships for first-year coach Sarah Brown.

Four champions boost Nittany Lion wrestlers to NCAA crown

Led by four national champions, the Penn State wrestling team captured its third consecutive and seventh NCAA title in the past eight years. Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, the Nittany Lions scored 141.5 points and earned 100 Directors’ Cup points.

Hodge Trophy recipient Zain Retherford captured his third consecutive 149-pound crown, finishing the season 31-0 and his career by winning a school record 94 consecutive matches. Jason Nolf (26-1) won the 157-pound title, and was joined by Vincenzo Joseph (165; 25-2) and Bo Nickal (184; 31-0) as the Nittany Lions’ national champions, all for the second consecutive year. Named the NCAA Championships’ Outstanding Wrestler, Nickal’s pin in his championship bout sealed the NCAA team title for the Nittany Lions.

The Nittany Lion men’s and women’s fencing team placed fourth at the NCAA championships, held in Penn State’s Multi-Sport Facility, to earn 80 Learfield Directors’ Cup points. Freshman Zara Moss was the NCAA runner-up in the women’s saber and senior Andrew Mackiewicz advanced to the NCAA semifinals in men’s saber to lead the Nittany Lions.

In its sixth year as a varsity program, the Penn State men’s hockey team earned a berth in its second consecutive NCAA tournament. The Nittany Lions were ousted by Denver, the 2017 NCAA champion, and earned 25 Directors’ Cup points.

Boosted by national champion David Lucas, the Penn State men’s track and field team finished in a tie for 10th place at the NCAA championships to earn 66.75 Directors’ Cup points. A sophomore, Lucas delivered a school-record effort to win the NCAA weight throw title, becoming Penn State’s first men’s track and field indoor national champion since 1990. Directed by Coach John Gondak, the men’s and women’s track and field squads combined to earn 98.75 Directors’ Cup points.

McHugh earns silver at NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

Junior Ally McHugh earned the silver medal in the 1650 freestyle at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships to become the program’s highest NCAA finisher all-time. McHugh finished second to Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky and became the sixth and eighth fastest performer all-time in the American and International record books, respectively. Guided by Coach Tim Murphy, the women’s swimming and diving team added 49 points to Penn State’s Directors’ Cup total.

Hector Garcia Boissier Garcia earned honorable-mention All-America honors in one and three-meter diving at the NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship and also participated in the platform event to help the men’s swimming and diving team earn 44 Directors’ Cup points.

Last Updated May 01, 2018