PLANO, Texas (Mar. 30, 2017) – Caltech has earned points in the Learfield Directors' Cup Division III standings for the first time since 2004 thanks to swim & dive freshman Thomas Gallup (Houston, Texas / Phillips Exeter Acad.) placing 11th in the country at the NCAA National Championships.
Gallup placed 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke while also competing in the 200 Breast and 50 Free. He lowered his own program record in the 100 Breast and trimmed .12 from his personal best to record the fifth-fastest 50 Free time in program history. The six points he earned in the 100 Breast put Caltech men's swim & dive in 41st place after Friday night and tied the Beavers for a final ranking of 43rd in DIII – their best since placing 26th overall in 1981 thanks to Hall of Honor inductee Chris McKinnon '83.
Caltech slots in at 227th among the 450 institutions who are members of Division III with 30.50 points.
Caltech's last appearance in the standings came courtesy of freshman Katherine Harvard, who earned 44 points by virtue of qualifying for the 2004 NCAA Championships in women's fencing. The Beavers' only other appearance came in 1996-97, when Hall of Honor inductee Cailin Henderson placed 115th at the cross country championship and qualified for the 3,000-meter run in track & field.
As a department, Caltech has been experiencing unprecedented success over the past several years. Both men's and women's tennis have earned their first national rankings in program history over the last year, while men's basketball set a program record for SCIAC wins in a season in 2015-16 and fencing has sent a record number of qualifiers to the NCAA West Regional over the past two years. Every one of Caltech's 19 programs has reached significant milestones over that span, including single-season records for wins and best conference finishes in decades.
In addition, several individuals have earned prestigious accolades over the same period. Senior Chris Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Junipero Serra) and graduate Aditya Bhagavathi '16 have earned multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, with senior Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) also pulling in Academic All-District recognition. Beavers have also hauled in 26 All-SCIAC awards and 16 SCIAC Athlete of the Week honors over the past three years.
The Learfield Directors' Cup is awarded annually to the nation's best overall collegiate athletics program.
In 1993, USA Today and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) jointly launched the Directors' Cup and it has since grown into a highly recognized mark of distinction among collegiate institutions