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Penn State Rises to Third in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings

on May 04, 2010 9:35 AM

Another strong Penn State athletic campaign has lifted the Nittany Lions into third place in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup final winter standings. Seven Nittany Lion squads earned points in their respective NCAA Championships during the winter sports season.

Penn State moved up one spot from the last Directors' Cup compilation on the strength of points earned by the women's gymnastics (T 13th, 59.3 points) and men's gymnastics teams (8th, 46) during their recent NCAA Championships.

Penn State is ranked in the top five of the final Directors' Cup winter standings for the fourth consecutive year, placing third in 2008 and fifth in 2007 and 2009. The Nittany Lions have finished in the final top 25 in all 16 previous Directors' Cup surveys, with eight top 10 finishes.

The Nittany Lions have garnered 726.8 official points through NCAA Championships completed as of April 24. Stanford is first (962), followed by Ohio State (813.5) and Penn State. Florida (723) and Minnesota (681.75) round out the top five, giving the Big Ten Conference three of the top five slots in the standings.

Penn State will earn additional Directors' Cup points from the men's volleyball team, which has earned its 12th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. The Nittany Lions are the No. 3 seed and face No. 2 seed Cal State-Northridge in Thursday's semifinals at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPNU, WRSC-FM (103.1) and www.GoPSUsports.com.

Senior Brandi Personett (Katy, Texas) finished second in the nation on floor with a 9.900 at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships. She earned first-team All-America accolades on beam, floor and all-around. Freshman Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) competed on vault in the individual event finals and earned first-team All-America honors on vault and in the all-around.

Senior Noam Shaham (Kfar Saba, Israel) placed sixth in the high bar in the individual event finals of the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships to earn his first career All-America honor in his final performance as a collegiate athlete.

Penn State earned a second consecutive NCAA Fencing Championship in March. Coach Emmanuil Kaidanov's team earned 100 Directors' Cup points for delivering its 12th national championship since 1990. Nittany Lion freshman Margherita Guzzi Vincenti (Milan, Italy) was the national champion in the women's epee.

In addition to the NCAA Championship by fencing, the Penn State wrestling (ninth), women's indoor track and field (13th) and mens's indoor track and field (14th) teams finished in the top 15 of their respective NCAA Championships during the winter sports season.

Penn State has won 19 NCAA Championships since 1993-94, its first full year in the Big Ten Conference, more than double every other Big Ten institution. Iowa and Minnesota are tied for second with nine.

Penn State was No. 4 in the Directors' Cup standings after the fall sports season.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings are unveiled following the fall, winter and spring seasons. The Learfield 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.

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