The Dordt University cross country and track and field programs were recognized as being one of the best in the NAIA for the 2021-22 athletic year in a press release issued by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Both Defender programs (men's and women's) held a top 10 ranking in the final USTFCCCA NAIA Program of the Year standings. Dordt was the only institution among the 200-plus NAIA schools to have both the men's and women's programs finish among the top 10 and was one of six NAIA schools to have both teams represented in the top 20.
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 & field and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NAIA Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NAIA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NAIA Championship in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & 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.
The Defenders finished tied for sixth in the final women's rankings with Taylor (Indiana) and College of Idaho. They totaled 42 points, placing eighth (8pts) at the cross country championship, 14th (14.5pts) at the indoor track and field championships and 19th (19.5pts) at the outdoor championships held last month.
St.Francis (Illinois) was the top women's program with 21 points, just ahead of Indiana Tech (23pts).
The Dordt men's program finished fourth with 30 points, just 2.5 points in back of third place Oklahoma City. The Defenders recorded a top 10 finish in all three championships this past season, placing eighth in cross country and 10th in both the indoor and outdoor track and field championships.
Saint Mary (Kansas) won the men's program of the year with 10pts.
This is the second consecutive year both Defender programs finished in the top 10. Last year, Dordt placed second overall in the women's program of the year standings while the men finished sixth.