OSKALOOSA — The Statesmen athletics department closed out the year strong, pushing for a high position in the final 2019-2020 Heart of America Athletic Conference Commissioner's Cup standings.
WPU wrapped up the competition in second place out of 13 institutions with 38 points, while Central Methodist claimed the crown with 50 points. This year’s standings only reflect the fall and winter sports as spring was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Commissioner's Cup is an all-sports award that further recognizes the achievements of its student-athletes and member institutions.
The navy and gold gathered a regular-season title in men's basketball (tournament crown as well), while women’s basketball, men's bowling and men’s soccer all collected second-place finishes. Schools are required to count point totals for the five sports that all members sponsor (women's volleyball, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball and softball), along with their next three highest point totals from the remaining sports, regardless of gender. WPU also notched high points for a third-place finish by women’s bowling.
"We are very proud of our student-athletes and coaches and feel confident that successes like this in the competitive arenas, coupled with milestones in the classroom and in the community, are bi-products of the uncommon culture of one team that our students and staff have embraced intentionally,” William Penn Athletics Director Nik Rule said.
William Penn had a huge jump from the fall, sitting in ninth entering the winter.
Points are assigned based on conference standings at the conclusion of the regular season, while points for league sports without regular season standings are determined by the conference championship meet.
Eight points are given to the conference champion, seven to second place, six to third, etc., while three bonus points are awarded to the conference tournament champion. Also, when two or more teams have the same placing, conference postseason seeding will determine the tiebreaker.
“Everyone in our department and at WPU are a part of the team,” Rule said. “It takes vertical integration across the board to be moving forward and succeeding at a high level. Finishing in the top-two of the first two Commissioner’s Cups is an available and public metric that allows us to continue to assess if we are moving in the right direction. We are excited about the future.”
2019-2020 Heart Commissioner's Cup Standings (FINAL)
1. Central Methodist--50
2. William Penn--38
3. Grand View--34
4. MidAmerica Nazarene--32
8. Mount Mercy--25
10. Missouri Valley--23
13. Peru State--10