Penn State Rises to No. 2 in Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup Standings
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 8, 2019 – Powered by the wrestling team’s eighth NCAA Championship in the past nine years, an NCAA runner-up finish in fencing and a total of six individual national champions, Penn State Athletics has risen to the No. 2 spot in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings.
In the latest Directors’ Cup winter sports compilation, Penn State rose from No. 3, where it finished last fall. The Nittany Lions will have an opportunity to earn their 13th consecutive Top 5 finish in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup final winter standings.
Led by three national champions, the Penn State wrestling team captured its fourth consecutive and eighth NCAA title in the past nine years. Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, the Nittany Lions earned 100 Directors’ Cup points.
Bo Nickal (197 lbs.) and Jason Nolf (157) captured their third consecutive NCAA individual wrestling national titles and Anthony Cassar (285) won his first NCAA crown. Nickal finished the season with a 30-0 record (120-3 career) and was selected the 2019 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler. Nolf finished the season with a 31-0 mark and was 117-3 In his career with a school record 60 pins. Nickal and Nolf were co-winners of the 2019 Hodge Trophy. Cassar delivered a 30-1 season, winning the Big Ten and NCAA titles in his first appearances in both events.
The men’s and women’s fencing team finished second at the NCAA Championships to earn 90 Directors’ Cup points. Senior Karol Metryka won the men’s saber championship to lead the Nittany Lions, coached by Wes Glon. Sophomore Zara Moss was the women’s saber runner-up for the second consecutive year.
Boosted by national champion Danae Rivers, the Penn State women’s track and field team finished in 11th place at the NCAA Championships to earn 66 Directors’ Cup. A junior, Rivers captured the 800-meter crown in a school record 2:03.69, becoming the program’s first indoor national champion. Directed by Coach John Gondak, the men’s and women’s indoor track and field squads had four first-team All-Americans and combined to earn 98.5 Directors’ Cup points.
Senior Ally McHugh earned the gold medal in the 1650 freestyle at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships to become the program’s first national champion. McHugh posted a school record time of 15:39.22, shaving nearly eight seconds off her winning time at the Big Ten Championships. Senior Hector Garcia Boissier became the men’s program’s highest finishing diver, placing second in the one-meter. Guided by Coach Tim Murphy, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving team added 90.5 points to Penn State’s Directors’ Cup total.
Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup and is followed by Penn State (715), Wisconsin (690.5), Michigan (646), Texas (547.25), Virginia (521), Minnesota (512.5), Duke (507), Ohio State (501.5) and Florida (493).
There will be a Directors’ Cup update in late April that includes men’s and women’s gymnastics. Penn State is among only nine institutions nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 25 Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.
Penn State Among the Nation’s Most Comprehensive and Successful Athletic Programs
Under the leadership of Vice President of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s).
Nittany Lion students have posted an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent the past two years, which ties Penn State’ all-time high. Eight teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2018 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 204 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including women’s soccer student-athletes Ogle and Kerry Abello and football student-athlete Blake Gillikin during the fall semester
Penn State’s 51 NCAA Championships all-time (79 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State’s 32 NCAA titles since 1992-93, including a fourth consecutive NCAA Wrestling Championship in March, lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 111 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including men’s gymnastics on April 5.