Ole Miss Men and Women Finish Top 10 in USTFCCCA Program of the Year Races
Ole Miss placed fourth at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Pictured: MJ Erb, Sean Tobin, Craig Engels, coach Ryan Vanhoy, Mark Robertson, Derek Gutierrez, Wesley Gallagher, Robert Domanic
June 13, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – Under second-year head coach Connie Price-Smith, the Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country program is soaring to new heights, seemingly by the minute. 

Another historic moment came Tuesday, when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the final standings for the 2016-17 NCAA Division I Programs of the Year. Ole Miss is third in the final men’s standings and eighth on the women’s side, both the highest in school history.

“As a team, we have worked incredibly hard and have been very dedicated this season,” Price-Smith said. “I believe our overall finishes speak volumes to the work ethic and heart of this squad. I, as well as my staff, couldn't be prouder of them.”

The USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Program of the Year Award is given annually to the most outstanding cross country and track & field programs in each gender. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field seasons) based on finishes at the NCAA Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at those meets (1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, etc.) and the team with the lowest combined score is crowned champion.

With 37 points, Ole Miss finished third behind Arkansas (14) and Oregon (21) in the men’s program of the year standings.

The 2016-17 season began with a bang for the men when the Rebels raced all the way to a fourth-place podium finish at the NCAA cross country meet. The previous best Ole Miss finish was 29th in 2014. They went on to place 12th at the NCAA Indoor Championships (including a national title in the distance medley relay) and 14th at the recent NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Ole Miss women finished eighth among all schools (65.5 points), behind Oregon (3), Colorado (22) and others. The Rebels began the fall with their first appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, placing 23rd. They went on to earn a program-best 12th-place result at NCAA Indoors (highlighted by a Raven Saunders collegiate record shot put performance) and then 29th place at NCAA Outdoors.

The women were eligible for USTFCCCA Program of the Year rankings for the first time. The men’s previous best finish was 15th last year.

John McDonnell Program of the Year Award (Men)
1. Arkansas (14)
2. Oregon (21)
3. Ole Miss (37)
4. Tulsa (39)
4. Virginia (39)
6. Georgetown (51.5)
7. Syracuse (58)
8. Colorado State (65.5)
9. Texas (67.5)
10. UTEP (77)

Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award (Women)
1. Oregon (3)
2. Colorado (22)
3. Arkansas (30)
3. Stanford (30)
5. Michigan (41.5)
5. Missouri (41.5)
7. Penn State (58.5)
8. Ole Miss (65.5)
9. BYU (74)
10. Mississippi State (77.5)

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.






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