The Northern Arizona track and field team is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year Standings following the NCAA Indoor National Championships, per Tuesday's release.
The Lumberjacks hold the top spot for the John McDonnell Men's Division I Program of the Year award thanks to their national championship in cross country and placing 15th as a unit this past weekend at the NCAA Division I Indoor National Championships.
NAU had just one scoring athlete, but he counted in a big way. Andy Trouard won the national title in the men's 3000-meter race and also took fifth in the 5000m event.
NAU had the second-best mid-major performance at nationals behind the University of Houston, which finished seventh.
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field seasons) based on the institution's finish at the NCAA Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team's finish at each NCAA Championship in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points … 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award winner. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.
NAU took the top spot in the standings with 16 team points. Northern Arizona currently leads teams from Arkansas (18.5 points), Oregon (19.5), Alabama (23) and Syracuse (23.5).
The Lumberjacks get the outdoor season underway Friday and Saturday as they head to Tempe for Arizona State's Baldy Castillo Invitational at the Sun Angel Stadium.