Ephs go from 3rd to first and claim 10th consecutive Directors' Cup

Since the fall standings of the Directors' Cup were announced a few folks in and around Williams College were a little uncomfortable with the Ephs being in third place, 36 points behind the leader Washington University (MO), considering the vaunted Purple Cows had won nine straight Cups. i

By the end of the winter season it looked to many that third might be the best the Ephs could muster in 2007-08 as Washington University (MO) extended their first place lead and the Ephs' arch rival Amherst had moved into second place. The Bears of Washington University now led the Ephs by 76.25 points and arch rival Amherst was up 29.75 points.

Mike Vrla '08

One thing that is known in the Berkshires – the cream always rises – so the purple cows of Williams got right to work in the spring and George McCormack's men's lacrosse team fashioned an historic finish that lifted his team into the NCAA Tournament. McCormack's laxmen won the last three NESCAC regular season contests and three NESCAC Tournament games to compile six straight wins all over nationally ranked opponents and secured the team's first NESCAC title and a trip to the NCAAs.

Points in the Directors' Cup competition are awarded based on a school's success in NCAA championship events. Division III schools are allowed to score in a maximum of 18 sports (9 men's and 9 women's).

“Some of the very best teaching at Williams happens at 4:00 pm, and we call that practice,” said Harry Sheehy, Eph director of athletics.  “Fields, rinks, and courts are filled with some of the very best teachers at our institution, and I’m proud to work at a place that recognizes those people as teachers first and foremost.”

Rookie head coach Alison Swain '01 guided her Ephs to the finals of the NCAA women's tennis tournament where they faced off against undefeated Washington & Lee who was also the defending champions. In March the Ephs had lost a heart breaking 5-4 decision at W & L and shortly thereafter found out that their highly regarded first year player Lucy Marchese (#3 singles and #3 doubles) would be lost for the season due to injury.

On the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, Eph #1 singles player Cary Gibson was down 3-0 in the third and decisive set against W & L's Katie Tabb, the second-ranked player in Division III. Williams was down 4-3 in the match. Gibson then proceeded to rattle off six straight wins and denied Tabb a win. Gibson and her teammates then turned their attention to first year player Nikki Reich who was in a three set match of her own to decide the NCAA title. When Reich prevailed hands and voices were raised and tears rolled down the cheeks of some very happy purple cows.

Cary Gibson '08

Swain, a member of the Ephs 2001 NCAA championship team, became just the second coach in women's NCAA Division III play to have also won an NCAA title as a player.

In the first spring update on May 22nd the Ephs had risen to the top spot some 62.25 points ahead of Washington University (MO) and Amherst gamely held on to third.  At the NCAA men's and women's track championships the Eph men's contingent of five finished in a tie for 13th easily out pointing Washington University's men's team, while both women's teams had roughly the same performances. The highlight effort by the Ephmen was junior Macklin Chaffee setting the Williams record for the 1,500 and finished second. He had entered the championships seeded 15th.

Capping off the spring season in style the Williams women's crew team made history in Sacramento, CA, when their V2 boat became the first V2 to win a heat race and advance directly to the Grand Final and then they teamed up with the V1 boat and added another chapter to the history section when they came home with their third straight NCAA team title – a Division III first.

Ephs win record 3rd straight NCAA title

With the third straight NCAA title won by his rowers, head coach Justin Moore has tied retired men's tennis coach Dave Johnson for most NCAA titles won (3) in one sport at Williams.

When the NCAA spring championship events had concluded the Ephs had scored in 19 sports, but their total in the 18 allowed was enough to top the field.

A record setting spring total of 503 points lifted the Ephs from third to a comfortable margin of victory.

NESCAC again was well represented in the Directors' Cup competition with three teams in the top five -- Williams (1), Amherst (4) and Middlebury (5).

10 Directors' Cups in a row wraps up a mighty impressive decade of athletic excellence in the NCAA's largest competitive division. The Ephs now own 12 of the 13 Directors' Cups offered in NCAA Division III, only missing out on the 1998 Cup, which was won by UC San Diego (now a member of Division II).

"I want to say thanks to our administration, led by President Schapiro, for the tremendous support that our department receives," noted Sheehy. "I also want to thank the wonderful student-athletes that make up our teams. These student athletes are a constant source of inspiration to all those who work with them. The people in our department who support our teams, players and coaches who execute their duties with excellence always willing to go the extra mile. Finally, it is my great pleasure to work with one of the very finest coaching faculties in all of the NCAA."

NCAA Division III Directors" Cup To Ten:
1.   Williams – 1120.25
2.   Washington Univ. (MO) -- 899.00
3.   TCNJ -- 825.25
4.   Amherst -- 815.00
5.   Middlebury -- 813.00
6.   Wisc.-Whitewater -- 808.00
7.   Emory -- 752.50
8.   Wartburg -- 722.00
9.   Cortland State -- 709.25
10. Wis. - Eau Claire -- 628.00