With many teams and individual competitors placing highly in NCAA postseason play, the Jumbos mark another strong finish
Tufts teams scored the university’s most points ever in the Learfield Directors’ Cup competition for the 2022-23 academic year, and finished second in the final standings for Division III, which is made up of more than 400 schools. The Jumbos tallied more points in the spring sports season than any other school in the nation to finish out their runner-up performance.
Eight Tufts spring teams competed in NCAA events over the past month, combining to score 499 Directors’ Cup points. That was more than 50 points higher than the second-best spring score of 458.25 totaled by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Added to their winter total of 336 points and their fall score of 291.50, the Jumbos accumulated 1126.50 points for the 2022-23 year overall, even higher than the 1080 total when Tufts won the Directors’ Cup a year ago.
Tufts was second this year behind Division III Directors’ Cup winner Johns Hopkins University (1282). Williams College was in third place with a 1112.75 score.
The Learfield 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 NCAA tournament finishes in up to 18 sports—nine women’s and nine men’s.
For the spring, Tufts was led by the national runner-up performances of its men’s tennis and men’s lacrosse teams for 90 points each. A third-place finish by women’s rowing scored 85 points, and women’s lacrosse added 73 fifth-place points after advancing to the Elite 8. Women’s track & field earned ninth-place nationally for 69 points, and softball played into the Sweet 16 for a 50 score. Men’s track & field contributed 42 points with their 32nd-place finish at the NCAA outdoor meet.
Overall this year, 20 Jumbo teams competed at NCAA events. The Directors’ Cup program only allows points for up to 18 teams, so the Jumbo baseball team, which played in the NCAA regional this spring, and the women’s fencing team from the winter, which made its first-ever NCAA appearance, didn’t count toward the total.
Tufts had been in seventh place in the Directors’ Cup standings following fall sports and then moved up to fourth after the winter season results came in.
This winter, women’s swimming & diving placed sixth at the NCAA championship meet to score 73.5 Directors’ Cup points. Women’s basketball advanced to the NCAA Elite 8, which earned 73 points. Women’s indoor track & field was close behind with 72 points scored for their seventh-place NCAA finish. The men’s swimming & diving team was 10th nationally for 67.5 points, and the men’s basketball team scored 50 points for 17th-place in their NCAA tournament.
The Jumbos qualified five teams and one individual for NCAA competition during the fall 2022 season. Every Tufts team that was eligible to score Directors’ Cup points did so. Women’s volleyball led the Jumbos with 64 points after reaching the NCAA regional final. Field hockey advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 to score 53 Directors’ Cup points, while the men’s soccer squad and the women’s soccer team both reached the NCAA second round and scored 50 points apiece. Men’s cross country earned a berth into the national championship race and was awarded 42 points, while women’s cross country received 32.5 points for senior Lauren Pollak qualifying individually.
In addition to their runner-up finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings this year, Tufts won six NCAA individual and relay national championships. Swimming first-year Lily Klinginsmith captured 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle titles, women’s swimming’s 400 freestyle relay won their event, women’s track & field senior Jaidyn Appel was first in the NCAA indoor high jump for the second straight year, senior Rishabh Sharda won the NCAA singles crown in men’s tennis and junior Harry Rienecker-Found was co-champion of the high jump at the NCAA men’s outdoor meet.
Tufts won the Directors’ Cup for the first time in 2021-22. The competition had been canceled in both 2019-20 and 2020-21 due to the pandemic. This year’s second-place finish is the ninth straight year that Tufts has placed in the top 10 and 12th time overall since 1995-96. The Jumbos’ 2016-17 third-place finish overall and 2015-16’s fourth-place showing are other top-five finishes. Tufts had sixth-place scores for 2005-06 and 2009-10.
See the final 2022-23 Learfield Directors’ Cup final standings.