March 19, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin women’s program is currently ranked 13th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association standings in the race for its 2011-12 John McDonnell Program of the Year Award.
The Badgers remain just outside the top 10 of the standings with their total of 45.5 points. Oregon leads the standings with a commanding total of just 6 points, while Iowa State is in second with 17 points and Georgetown in third with 17.5 points.
The John McDonnell Program of the Year Award is given annually by the USTFCCCA to the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year spanning the cross county, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field seasons.
Teams must qualify for each of the NCAA championships in order to be eligible. Scoring is based on the team’s finish in the championships, with a first-place finish awarding the program 1 point in the rankings, while finishing 31st would earn that program 31 points.
The program with the lowest total score, encompassing placement in each of the three championship seasons, determines the award recipient.
A season-best team finish by junior Ashley Beutler led the women’s cross country team to a 24th-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The finish earned Wisconsin 24 Program of the Year points.
UW also added 21.5 points toward their Program of the Year ranking, after senior Dorcas Akinniyi matched the best-ever finish by a Big Ten athlete in the pentathlon to earn a runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
This is the fourth-consecutive year the USTFCCCA has conducted its John McDonnell Program of the Year rankings. The current 13th-place ranking is the highest Wisconsin has ever been in the standings.
The Wisconsin women’s outdoor track and field team looks to help make one final push and crack the top 10 in John McDonnell Program of the Year standings for the first time in school history when their season begins Friday in Starkville, Miss., at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge.