Gators Third in Director's Cup

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Three NCAA team titles to close the collegiate season lifted the University of Florida athletics program to third in the 2016-17 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings. This is Florida's ninth consecutive top-five finish in the national all-sports rankings.

 COURTESY OF UAA COMUNICATIONS

Florida is the only program to finish among the nation's top 10 in each of the last 34 national all-sports standings.

Thirteen Florida teams placed among the nation's top 10, marking the 10th consecutive season 12 or more Gator teams turned in top-10 national finishes. Ten Gator teams among the nation's final top-five equals the program record set in 2009-10 and matched in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.

Florida's Top-Five Finishes:

In the final 36 days of the 2016-17 collegiate season, three Gator teams celebrated NCAA Championship wins. Women's tennis moved its program-leading total of NCAA team titles to seven - the second most in the nation - after its 4-1 win over defending NCAA champion Stanford on May 23.

Seventeen days later, men's outdoor track & field took its second consecutive and fourth NCAA title since 2012 with its win in Eugene, Ore. The Gator men's track & field program has collected seven NCAA titles (three indoor and four outdoor) since 2010, leading all Division I programs by two titles during that span.

The Gator baseball team won its first NCAA title after sweeping LSU in the College World Series Finals. Florida is now one of six schools (California, UCLA, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford) to win a national championship in baseball, basketball and football - and is the only to win a title in each sport in the last 25 years. UF won football titles in 1996, 2006 and 2008 and back-to-back basketball titles in 2006 and 2007.

This is the ninth consecutive season a Gator team has won a national team title, as Florida has collected 18 championships since the 2008-09 academic year.

In all, 13 Florida teams finished among the nation's top 10, with 10 placing among the nation's top five. Here's the complete list of Gator top-10 teams:

*        Baseball (No. 1)

*        Women's Tennis (No. 1)

*        Men's Outdoor Track & Field (No. 1)

*        Softball (No. 2)

*        Men's Indoor Track & Field (No. 2)

*        Gymnastics (No. 3)

*        Men's Swimming & Diving (No. 3)

*        Men's Basketball (No. T-5)

*        Women's Golf (No. T-5)

*        Women's Outdoor Track & Field (No. 5)

*        Lacrosse (No. T-9)

*        Soccer (No. T-9)

*        Men's Tennis (No. T-9)

About The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, presented annually by the nation's athletics directors, recognizes the schools with the best overall sports performances in an academic year. Points are awarded based on finishes and participation in 20 NCAA Division I sports. Stanford received its 23rd consecutive Directors' Cup at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention in June.

UF Athletics Director Scott Stricklin says:

"Our department was able to celebrate throughout this entire year because of the effort and competitiveness exhibited by Gator student-athletes and coaches. Having the opportunity to achieve at the highest level, against the very best competition, at one of the nation's top public universities, is why people come to the University of Florida. As our fans often remind us, it's great to be a Florida Gator." - UF Athletics Director Scott Stricklin

2017 Individual NCAA Champions for the Gators:

Seven Gators claimed 13 NCAA individual titles in 2017.

Two Gators who also claimed national athlete of the year honors for their sport - Caeleb Dressel and KeAndre Bates - each won three NCAA individual titles. Dressel won his third straight 50-yard free, second consecutive 100-yard free and added the 100-yard butterfly at the 2017 NCAA Swimming Championships. His 100 free time of 40.00 set American, NCAA and U.S. Open records and he topped 2016 Olympic 100-meter fly gold medalist Joseph Schooling of Texas to take the NCAA 100 fly crown.

Bates took both the NCAA indoor and outdoor long jump titles. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Bates also took the triple jump crown, marking the 11th sweep of the horizontal jumps in Division I outdoor history.

Junior Alex McMurtry took the NCAA all-around title and shared the uneven bars crown. A Gator has taken the all-around title in five of the last six NCAA Championships and her winning total of 39.8125 set a NCAA semifinal record. She was named the Honda Award winner as the top collegiate gymnast.

Freshman Grant Holloway became the first freshman in Division I history to win both the indoor 60-meter hurdles and outdoor 110-meter hurdles NCAA titles. He is the third freshman to win the 110 hurdles title since 1976, the first year it ceased being the 120-yard hurdles.

On the championship day of the NCAA Track & Field Championships, Eric Futch became the eighth man in Division I history to defend his 400-meters hurdles title. His personal best time of 48.32 made him the No. 10-ranked 400 hurdler in collegiate history.

Junior Mark Szaranek shared the NCAA 200-yard individual medley title. His time of 1:40.67 is a career-best and was the program's first 200 IM title since 2014.

The time of 22.02 by senior Kyra Jefferson broke the 28-year-old collegiate record to win the first outdoor 200 meters national title in UF history. That win also marked the 300th national individual title for the Florida Athletics program. The first national title for Florida Athletics was the 135-pound weight class boxing title by John Joca in 1940.

Other Gator successes:

Five Gators named national athlete of the year in 2017.

Kelly Barnhill - USA Softball Collegiate Player of Year / Honda Award

KeAndre Bates - U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Indoor Field Athlete of Year

Caleb Dressel - College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Swimmer of the Year

Alex McMurtry - Honda Award

Belinda Woolcock - Honda Award

In NCAA action, three Gators picked up Most Outstanding Player or Athlete at their sport's championship event - Alex Faedo (baseball), Dressel and Woolcock.

Florida's five Southeastern Conference titles (baseball, women's golf, softball, men's swimming & diving, volleyball) helped the Gator program to a sweep of the 2016-17 GateHouse Media SEC All-Sports titles. It was the program's 27th overall SEC All-Sports Trophy and Florida's 16th sweep (overall, men's, women's).

In addition, the lacrosse team won its third consecutive BIG EAST Conference title. Lacrosse and soccer both took conference tournament titles in 2016-17.

Eight Gators picked up conference athlete of the year honors in 2016-17:

Kelly Barnhill - Softball Pitcher of the Year

Canyon Barry - Men's Basketball Sixth Man of the Year

KeAndre Bates - Indoor Field Athlete of Year

Caeleb Dressel - Men's Swimmer of the Year

Caroline Fitzgerald - BIG EAST Lacrosse Defender of the Year

Haley Hicklin - BIG EAST Lacrosse Goalkeeper of the Year

Alex McMurtry - Gymnast of the Year

Mollie Stevens - BIG EAST Lacrosse Attacker of the Year

Gators by the Numbers

3 NCAA team title (baseball, women's tennis & men's outdoor track & field) marks the ninth straight year a Gator team has won a national team title. Florida has won 18 national team titles since the 2008-09 season.

13 top-10 national finishes by 2016-17 teams, including a school-record 10 among top 5

6 conference titles by the Gators in 2016-17, including 5 Southeastern Conference wins.

5 Gators picked up national athlete of the year awards

8 conference athlete of the year honors claimed by Gators

83 percent Graduation Success Rate for UF, as reported last fall in the 2016 NCAA Federal Graduation Rate Data. All Gator teams are in good academic standing in latest Academic Progress Report released earlier by the NCAA earlier this spring.

2 NCAA Elite 90 awards went to Gators in 2017. The student-athlete with top cumulative grade point average at each of the 90 NCAA Championship sites receives the honor.

7 named to CoSIDA Academic All-America teams in 2016-17. Florida now has 104 Gators earning 143 Academic All-America honors all-time.

384 student-athletes participated in 3,726 hours of community service in 2016-17, partnering with 20 local schools & 41 non-profit organizations and making 48 regularly scheduled UF Health visits.

 


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