June 13, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The Virginia men’s track and field team finished fourth in the John McDonnell Program of the Year standings, as announced by U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday (June 13). UVA tied Tulsa with 39 points for the year, spanning all three seasons.
The fourth-place finish is the best in program history as UVA was one of five schools to earn a top 20 finish at all three NCAA championships. The Cavaliers placed 18th at the cross country championships, 16th at the indoor championships and a program-best third at the outdoor championships.
“This is very important to our program,” head coach Bryan Fetzer said. “Three straight years of ranking in the nation’s top-five places us among the track and field royalty. Oregon and Arkansas are the only other universities to finish in the top five POY standing each of the last three years. Some universities specialize in cross country or outdoors, etc., but we will continue to strive to have a complete program. That was my goal from the beginning. We want to contribute to the department’s goal of winning the Learfield Directors’ Cup by producing the most points possible, and being nationally competitive in all three seasons does just that. It speaks volumes to where we are as a program and everyone associated with the program has played a role in the success.”
Highlighting the year, the cross country team qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive time. Four student-athletes earned All-America honors during the indoor season, while seven student-athletes earned All-America honors in the outdoor season. Additionally, senior Filip Mihaljevic (Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina) captured the NCAA outdoor title in the shot put and the discus.
The rankings honor the institutions that achieve the most success each academic year over all three seasons (cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field), based on the school’s finish at the NCAA Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA or NAIA 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.