For the first time since 2000-01, Illinois State University has captured the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy. The Redbirds claimed three Valley championships in 2007-08 and finished fifth or better in 16 of their 17 sports. Illinois State earned titles in women’s soccer, women’s golf, and women’s basketball.
The All-Sports Trophy is based on a school’s average finish in each of the sponsored championships by the Missouri Valley Conference. Teams are awarded one point for first, two for second, three for third, etc., and the total accumulated points are divided by the number of sports in which a particular school competes. Finishes in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball are based on regular-season competition. All other sports are determined by finish at the championship tournament or championship meet.
Illinois State’s all-sports championship snapped a string of four-straight titles by Wichita State (2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07). It marked the 11th all-sports trophy for Illinois State, which trails Wichita State (16) for the most. Either Illinois State, Missouri State or Wichita State, meanwhile, has earned the league’s all-sports championship trophy every year since 1995, as the Redbirds won five of six all-sports championships from 1996-2001. Missouri State claimed the league’s trophy in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Notably, Illinois State has finished in the top five of the league’s all-sports race for 26-straight years. ISU has finished first, second or third in the all-sports trophy standings in 16 of the past 18 seasons.
Southern Illinois, meanwhile, finished second in the all-sports race for the third time in four years, and earned 13 top-five finishes (of its 16 sports), including a title in men’s cross country, and runner-up finishes in women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s and women’s golf, and women’s outdoor track & field.
Wichita State won four team titles to finish third in the all-sports standings, while Northern Iowa (also winners of four league titles) finished fourth. The Shockers took championships in women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s golf and baseball. UNI was league champion in men’s and women’s indoor track & field, and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. UNI, meanwhile, finished sixth or better in 15 of its 16 sports.
Drake joined Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Wichita State, and UNI in the upper division, as the Bulldogs took fifth in this year’s all-sports race. Drake, buoyed by league titles in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s tennis, enjoyed its highest finish in the all-sports trophy race since the 1999-00 season, when it also finished fifth. Notably, all 10 of the league’s schools won at least one team title in 2007-08. And for just the second time since 1994 (when the league began its current scoring system), seven schools finished with an aggregrate score of 5.00 or better.
2007-08 TOP-FIVE FINISHERS
Pts. Team (Championships)
3.47 Illinois State (3)
3.66 Southern Illinois (1)
3.93 Wichita State (4)
4.09 Northern Iowa (4)
4.75 Drake (3)