Darton athletics named No. 8 NJCAA program

ALBANY — After a year full of conference championships and school records, the Darton State College athletic program got one last award on Tuesday.

And it was a big one.

For the first time in school history, Darton is named a Top 10 NJCAA athletics program by the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators.

Darton came in at No. 8 in the NATYCAA Cup rankings, and the announcement followed an academic year marked by 45 All-Region XVII athletes, 11 All-Americans, seven conference championships, a national runner-up finish and a national championship title.

“After the NATYCAA ranked Darton State College athletics fourth in the fall and then third following the winter sports, I felt confident that we would exceed our 12th-place finish in 2011,” Darton athletics director and dean of physical education Mike Kiefer said. “It’s great to reflect upon the achievements brought on by talented student-athletes and our hard-working coaching staff and faculty, but our department is still moving forward, and we have a lot to look forward to as we begin another competitive year in collegiate athletics this fall.”

Over the 2011-2012 academic year, Darton won conference championships in men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, golf and men’s and women’s swimming. The women’s soccer program finished as national runner-up, while women’s swimming won a national title in the 400-meter IM.

Men’s soccer had its first undefeated conference record before winning the Southeast District Championship and finishing third nationally. Golf also finished in the top ten, taking fifth at the NJCAA D-I Golf Championship in May.

Baseball and softball set new school records. The Cavalier baseball program earned its first national ranking, going as high as No. 12 in the NJCAA while setting a new standard with 37 season wins.

Softball enjoyed an amazing 44-7 season record that included a 30-game win streak.

Five Darton student-athletes received individual awards from the NJCAA for academic achievement.