FLORENCE, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande (Ohio) has claimed the River States Conference Commissioner’s All-Sports Cup as the top overall athletic department in the league for the recently completed 2016-17 school year.
The RedStorm edged out Indiana University Southeast via a tiebreaker in the final standings.
Rio Grande, which finished runner-up in the competition each of the last two years and narrowly came up short each of those times, claimed top honors this year, its third year since returning to the conference in 2014-15.
“This award is a result of the hard work, passion and determination from our student-athletes, coaches, administration and staff at Rio,” said Rio Grande athletic director Jeff Lanham. “It is more than championships — it’s about the people. People are what makes this award special.”
The RSC Commissioner’s All-Sports Cup measures the top overall athletic department in the conference based on combined finish in all sports. After the conclusion of the 15 RSC championship sports for the 2016-17 year, Rio Grande is on top with the best average finish.
The standings are based on a 10-point scoring system. First place in a sport earns 10 points, second place earns nine and so on. For sports that have more than 10 schools competing, no points are earned for schools finishing below 10th place. Each school’s point total is divided by the number of championship sports sponsored by that school, which produces an average point total of each sport out of 10.
The RSC Cup standings are tabulated based on regular-season finish in the sports that have regular-season standings. For sports that do not have regular-season standings, the championship meet or tournament is used.
Rio Grande came out on top with 88 total points scored by its 11 championship sports, giving the RedStorm an average of 8.0 points out of 10. IU Southeast also had a final average of 8.0 points with a total of 56 points scored in its seven championship sports, but the top spot went to Rio Grande in the tiebreaker, which takes into account championship won on the year.
Rio Grande took top points in six different sports and scored 10 points in the standings each time. Three of those came in the spring season with softball, men’s track & field and women’s track & field scoring first-place points. The fall season had the RedStorm score 10 points each for men’s soccer, men’s cross country and women’s cross country. Both of Rio Grande’s basketball teams and the baseball team were in the playoffs as well.
IU Southeast finished second after placing in the top three of the conference standings in five out of its seven sports. The Grenadiers took top points in men’s basketball with the RSC regular-season championship, finished second in baseball and women’s tennis and took third place in softball and men’s tennis. IU Southeast also had playoff teams in volleyball and women’s basketball.
IU East finished third with an average of 7.63 points out of 10. The Red Wolves, who scored 84 points in 11 sports, were in first place after the winter season when their men’s and women’s basketball teams both won the conference tournament. In the spring season, IU East came up with top-three finishes in men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis.
Asbury (Ky.) University took fourth place in the final standings with a final average of 7.08 points. The Eagles led the conference with 92 total points, which were scored in their 13 sports. Asbury had a big spring finishing first in men’s and women’s tennis and taking second in men’s and women’s golf.
Point Park (Pa.) University placed fifth with a final average of 6.92 points, with the top five schools being separated by a little over a 1.00. The Pioneers were second in the league with 90 total points in 13 sports. Point Park won top points in baseball, volleyball and men’s golf and came up with runner-up points in women’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field.
WVU Tech placed sixth with an average of 6.00 points and 72 total points in 12 sports. The Golden Bears’ top sport was men’s soccer, which came in second, and they also had men’s basketball and men’s track and field come in third.
Midway (Ky.) University placed seventh with an average of 5.80 points and 58 total points in 10 sports. The Eagles had women’s golf place first and softball take second.
Ohio Christian University placed eighth with an average of 4.93 points in 15 sports. The Trailblazers took top points in women’s soccer for their regular-season championship.
IU Kokomo placed ninth with an average of 4.86 points in seven sports. The Cougars had volleyball as their top team taking runner-up points as divisional champs in the regular season.
The rest of the RSC Cup final standings had Brescia (Ky.) University (4.07 average), Cincinnati Christian University (3.89), Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College (2.43) and Carlow (Pa.) University (2.36).
“Our association with RSC has been an uplifting experience for Rio. The institutions, leadership, coaches, administration and student-athletes associated with the RSC is what makes this award special,” Lanham said. “The mutual respect, competition, friendship and ability to work together makes Rio proud to be a part of this conference.”
The River States Conference has 13 members in five states of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The conference was known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for its first 100 years of existence from 1916 to 2016. The league name was changed as part of a re-branding effort on July 1, 2016.