Denison captured its record 13th Dennis M. Collins North Coast Athletic Conference All-Sports Championship after capping off the spring sports season with a league-high 74 points. Overall Denison totaled 165 points across the 23 sponsored sports in the NCAC. That total was enough to outdistance last year’s all-sports champion, DePauw University, by 5.5 points.
Denison utilized three conference championships, and twelve top-3 finishes to take home the college’s 13th emerald green statue. The Big Red’s three conference titles came in men’s and women’s swimming & diving and men’s lacrosse. Runner-up finishes were posted by field hockey, women’s tennis, and softball which ended the year in a four-way tie for second place in the conference standings.
The All-Sports Award is given to the athletic program which preforms the best across the NCAC’s varsity sports. Ten points are awarded for a first-place finish, nine for a second, eight for a third, and so on. Since the award’s inception in 1985 Denison has won a record 13 All-Sports Awards, highlighted by a streak of nine consecutive titles that spanned 1998 through 2006. This is the first all-sports championship for second-year Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, Nan Carney-DeBord. It also marks the 11th trophy in the 15-year tenure of outgoing Denison President, Dale Knobel.
Last year Denison finished second by the narrowest of margins (half a point) to conference newcomer, DePauw. This year DU got improved or equal performances out of 16 sports. Women’s indoor and outdoor track & field showed the biggest one-year improvement as they went from an eighth-place finish in 2011-12 to a third-place finish in 2012-13. The baseball team, under the direction of first-year coach Mike Deegan, showed a 3.5 point improvement by winning the NCAC West and placing fourth in the conference standings. Women’s cross country and men’s indoor track & field also showed a three-point improvement in the all-sports standings compared to last year.
Denison has placed either first or second in the NCAC’s All-Sports standings in 23 of the 29 years of the conference’s existence. Their 165 point total marked the schools ninth-highest winning point total. While DePauw checked in with 159.5 points in second-place, third-place went to Ohio Wesleyan who ended with 150 points. Wittenberg University finished fourth with 145.5 and fifth-place went to Kenyon College with 142.0 points. Positions six through 10 were occupied by Allegheny (126.5), Wooster (126), Oberlin (106.5), Wabash (61) and Hiram (48).
In the race for all-time team championships, Denison’s three titles in 2012-13 kept them in second-place overall with 124 championships since 1984-85. Ohio Wesleyan leads the way with 137 titles while Allegheny sits third with 109.