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Athletics Department Earns Top 100 Ranking; Quality Grade Report

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona University athletics department combined the best of both worlds during the 2008-09 academic year with a Top 100 Leerfield Sports Directors Cup standing and a quality grade report for its more than 350 student-athletes. NAU ranked among the top 100 for the sixth time in the last seven seasons and 11th overall in the last 13 years.

The Lumberjacks were ranked 96th overall aided by a 32nd-place national finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month. NAU also earned points in men’s and women’s cross country in the fall with two national finishes with the men sixth and the women finishing 23rd. NAU also earned points in women’s soccer and women’s golf.

The Leerfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports - 10 women's and 10 men's.

Northern Arizona’s campaign was highlighted by seven Big Sky Championships including titles in men’s and women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, as well as men’s outdoor track and field. NAU finished second in swimming and diving and women’s outdoor track in field in their respective conferences.

Academically, NAU student-athletes combined to record a 3.11 cumulative grade point average. It marked the 20th semester with a cumulative GPA above 3.0 over the last 11 years spanning 22 semesters for the department.

Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. honored 164 student-athletes for their scholastic and athletic accomplishments at the 31st annual Golden Eagle Awards. The Golden Eagle Awards recognize NAU athletes who have made significant contributions to the Lumberjack athletics program while maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average.

Thirty-five Northern Arizona University student-athletes and department student assistants participated in spring commencement ceremonies on the NAU campus and were commissioned degrees as part of the Class of 2009.

The final standings for the Sterling Savings Presidents Cup, an annual award that recognizes a combination of academic and athletic achievement, will be announced later this summer.

Big Sky Conference in the Leerfield Sports Directors’ Cup
96. Northern Arizona
139. Montana
173. Portland State
193. Weber State
200. Sacramento State
227. Montana State
271. Northern Colorado

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