Hope College has taken a commanding lead in a bid to win the Commissioner's Cup of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for a 12th consecutive year.
The Commissioner's Cup is awarded to the MIAA-member college with the best cumulative performance in the league's 18 sports for men and women.
Thru the eight sports sponsored in the fall, Hope has built a 22-point advantage in the Cup standings. Hope tops the standings in both men's and women's sports with a cumulative total of 103 points followed by Calvin 81, Adrian 64, Alma 58, Trine 55, Albion 48, Olivet 40 and Kalamazoo 40.
Hope teams finished first or second in seven of the eight fall sports. Championships were won in men's golf and women's cross country. Hope finished in second place in men's cross country, football, men's soccer, women's golf, and volleyball. The women's soccer team tied for fourth.
New this year is a consistent policy for determining who will represent the MIAA in NCAA championships. Regular season competition determines the league champion while a season-ending tournament determines who receives the MIAA's automatic bid to NCAA play. There were five fall sports (men's and women's soccer, men's and women's golf and volleyball) that had the oppornuity to play in a qualifying tournament with Hope teams qualifying for all five, the only member school to achieve that fete. Hope's volleyball and men's soccer teams advanced to their respective NCAA tournaments. Opportunities to qualify in men's and women's golf will occur next spring.
Hope has won a league leading 33 Commissioner's Cup since the award was initiated in 1934-35, including 26 of the last 32 years. The current string started in 2000-01.
Commissioner's Cup Standings (thru fall sports): 1. Hope 103. 2. Calvin 81. 3. Adrian 64. 4. Alma 58. 5. Trine 55. 6. Albion 48. 7. Olivet 40. 8. Kalamazoo 35.
Men's All-Sports Standings: 1. Hope 50. 2. Trine 34. 3. Albion 32. 3. Calvin 32. 5. Adrian 26. 6. Alma 22. 7. Olivet 20. 8. Kalamazoo 8.
Women's All-Sports Standings: 1. Hope 53. 2. Calvin 49. 3. Adrian 38. 4. Alma 36. 5. Saint Mary's 28. 6. Kalamazoo 27. 7. Trine 21. 8. Olivet 20. 9. Albion 16.