OGDEN, Utah – Northern Arizona men have captured their second consecutive Big Sky All-Sports Trophy, the conference office announced Tuesday. The Lumberjacks went into the outdoor track championship with the lead, and maintained it after a tie for first place capturing their fourth straight outdoor title.
“The support system here at NAU is top notch. We are very fortunate to have unlimited support from our administration,” said Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Eric Heins. “Their commitment to excellence is how we are able to be so successful.”
The Northern Arizona men registered 66.5 points for their 12th win. Eastern Washington was second with 55 points, while Montana State tallied 51.6 points for third.
The Lumberjack men have captured the All-Sports Trophy three times since 2010-11. This season NAU won first place titles in cross country and indoor track & field. The men were co-champions in outdoor track & field. The Lumberjacks finished tied for third in basketball, and tied for fifth in football and tennis.
The Northern Arizona women finished second overall, after winning the trophy a year ago. The Sacramento State women took home top honors with 78 points. NAU was second with 73.5 points, followed by Montana with 60.5 points.
“We have a special group of student-athletes here at NAU,” said Head Golf Coach Brad Bedortha. “They really buy into our vision and that shows in competition. Not only do our student-athletes believe in each other, but the administration is right there the whole way. It takes everyone in the department to achieve success and that’s what we have here at NAU.”
Since 1963-64, the Big Sky Conference has sponsored a Men’s All-Sports Trophy. A Women’s All-Sports Trophy began in 1988-89, the first year the conference sponsored women’s sports.
The Lumberjack women won team titles in cross country and golf. Soccer, volleyball and indoor track & field all placed third, while outdoor track & field and tennis placed fourth. The Lumberjacks were also fifth in basketball.
Northern Arizona’s men’s and women’s programs combined for 140 total points. Sacramento State was second with 129 points, followed by Montana with 110.16. The overall point totals is one of the criteria used to determine the 2014-15 Presidents’ Cup Presented by Red Lion. The winner of this year’s Presidents’ Cup will be announced in July. Northern Arizona is seeking its third consecutive Presidents’ Cup.
Points are awarded based on regular-season standings the sports of men’s basketball, women’s basketball, soccer, football, softball, tennis and volleyball. In cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s golf, all-sports points are awarded by basis of finish in the Big Sky Championship.
On the women’s side, the top seven scores are counted to determine the winner. The league sponsors nine women’s sports. Montana State does not field a soccer team. Eight of the 11 members compete in football. Points were not awarded this year for the men’s golf championship. Affiliate members do not receive points. Idaho, which returned most of its sports to the Big Sky Conference on July 1, 2014, is considered an affiliate member because its football program competes in the Sun Belt Conference.