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September 10, 2001

Emory athletics earns national top rankings

John Arenberg is Emory sports information director,
and Joel Cookson is sports information assistant.

We’re No. 1! While Oklahoma won the Division I-A football championship and Duke the same in men’s basketball, Emory claimed two national titles in a different forum.

The University garnered more Verizon Academic All-Americans (12) in the past school year than any other NCAA school. Behind Emory were Notre Dame, Penn State, Purdue and Nebraska.
Emory also boasted more NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients (seven) than any other school.

Behind Emory were Michigan, Kenyon College, North Dakota, and University of California-Davis.
But it was hardly all work and no play. The University finished fourth in Div. III in the final Sears Directors’ Cup standings for best all-around athletics program. Emory enjoyed four Top 10 finishes at the NCAA team championships and 10 Top 25 finishes. In addition, four Eagles captured NCAA individual titles.

“For a combination of academics and athletics, this was about as perfect a year as we could hope for,” said athletics director Chuck Gordon. “When it comes to the dual success of our student-athletes, we continue to raise the bar every year. This presents a major challenge to our coaches in their recruiting, but one they accept as the byproduct of working for a distinguished academic institution such as Emory.”

Cross country (men)
Emory must replace two of its top runners from last season. The Eagles are hopeful that improved depth and competition will help them maintain their level of success. Last season, Emory qualified for nationals for the second consecutive year and won a second straight regional title. Ranked 22nd in the final coaches’ poll, the team was among the Top 25 all 11 weeks the poll was released. Emory placed five runners on the all-region team for the second consecutive season and the second time in its history. Four runners received all-conference honors (a first), and three were placed on the all-state team.

Cross country (women)
Emory returns nearly every runner from last season when the team extended its regional dynasty. Emory won its 10th consecutive regional championship and likewise qualified for the national meet for the 10th year in a row. The Eagles ended the season ranked 23rd in the nation in the final poll conducted by the Cross Country Coaches Association and placed 21st at the national championships. Pacing the team is senior All-American Sarah Byrd, who last year finished 22nd out of 211 runners at nationals.

Soccer (women)
The women’s soccer team’s outlook for the 2001 season could be best summed up with the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history, Emory returns 10 of 11 starters and 18 letter winners from the team that tied a school record last year with 15 wins. The Eagles recorded their first-ever victory in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the regional finals for the second time in school history. Emory finished the season with a No. 10 national ranking in the coaches’ poll.

Soccer (men)
Following a difficult 2000 season, the men’s soccer team hopes the experience gained last year will translate into a successful 2001 campaign. The Eagles finished with a record of 7-9-1, marking only the fourth time since 1965 they have posted a losing record and only the second time they have ever finished worse than third in the conference. However, Emory returns eight starters and will continue to rely on the contributions of younger players, as 11 freshmen are added to a more experienced team.

For several years, winning has been a tradition for the Emory volleyball team. However there is another tradition that will be put to the test this season: Namely, the tradition of replacing graduated players without missing a beat. The first tradition was exemplified when Emory finished its 2000 campaign with a record of 32-4, one win shy of the school record, and notched a fifth consecutive invitation to nationals. The other tradition also came into play: Emory had to replace an all-region player and two all-conference players. This season, the team is looking to replace one All-American, two all-region players and four all-conference players. However, the team does return eight players, including three experienced upperclassmen.

Emory varsity sports updates are available at


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