From Washington University Athletics
For the first time in program history, the Washington University in St. Louis women's cross country and track & field program was named the 2015-16 Deb Vercauteren NCAA Division III Women's Program of the Year, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The WashU women finished with 11 points after a fifth-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships and third-place finishes at the 2016 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was second with 22 points, while SUNY Geneseo (30), 2014-15 winner Massachusetts Institute of Technology (40) and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (43) rounded out the top five.
The first-place finish marked the third top-three finish for WashU in program history. The Bears finished second in the final Program of the Year standings in 2011-12 and were third in the 2014-15.
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award is bestowed annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs in each of the NCAA's three divisions and for each gender. The 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 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 & 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 recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.