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Juniata claims inaugural Landmark Conference SAAC Sportsmanship Cup

(Posted June 30, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- After a full year of competition in 20 Landmark sports, and the opinions of student-athletes and coaches from all eight Landmark institutions, Juniata College has won the inaugural Landmark Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Sportsmanship Cup.

Juniata moved to the top of the standings after the fall season, and maintained its lead throughout the year, ultimately finishing with a score of 9.000. Goucher College narrowly edged a pair of institutions to finish in second-place with a score of 6.688. There were just .259 points separating Goucher and the fourth-place team. Goucher trimmed Juniata's lead to 1.57 points following the winter sports season, but a strong spring helped Juniata secure the first Cup.

The Landmark SAAC Sportsmanship Cup was adopted prior to the 2009-10 academic year and is designed to promote good sportsmanship throughout the conference and to recognize the Landmark institution that demonstrates the best overall sportsmanship over the course of the year. The Cup is awarded based on a formula that compiles the votes of each Landmark coach in consultation with their team captains ranking the top-3 sportsmanship programs in their respective sports. The formula also takes into account the number of sports an institution sponsors.

Juniata won the Sportsmanship Cup on the strength of consistently high finishes across the board in nearly every sport including four top finishes among the spring sports. Seven Juniata teams finished atop their respective sport standings during the year, and the team ranked in the top half of the voting in nearly every sport it sponsors.

"Winning the Sportsmanship Cup is a tremendous reflection on our student-athletes," said Juniata athletics director Larry Bock. "I feel this award recognizes what I've always known about the student-athletes we have here at Juniata: they're not only gifted athletes, but they represent us well and have great respect both for their sport and for the other athletes in this conference."

Goucher moved from third to second-place in the Cup standings during the winter, and held onto the second spot with strong finishes in several spring sports, most notably men's tennis and women's track & field. The Gophers also finished in the top half of the rankings in nearly every sport throughout the year, and were the top choice in one sport and the runners-up in the voting for seven sports.

In addition to the overall Sportsmanship Cup, the Landmark recognizes the team which earns the most points in each sport as the team sportsmanship winners. The recipients for the eight spring sports are: USMMA baseball, Juniata softball, Juniata men's track & field, The Catholic University of America women's track & field, Moravian men's lacrosse, Moravian women's lacrosse, a tie between Juniata and USMMA men's tennis, and a tie between Juniata and Susquehanna University women's tennis.

In the first year of the Landmark Conference SAAC Sportsmanship Cup all eight Landmark institutions finished either first or second in the voting in at least one sport to help produce the balanced final standings.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.