by Benny Benton
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Barton College placed third in this year’s final Joby Hawn Cup standings – Conference Carolinas’ measure of overall athletic excellence – the school’s best finish since the 2005-06 season.
“I am so proud of the student-athletes and coaches at Barton College for earning a third place finish in the Hawn Cup this year!” said Todd Wilkinson, Barton’s director of athletics. “We had some teams that truly stepped up their game this year and led us to competitive excellence. The fall, winter and spring sport success kept the momentum the entire academic year, and this was exciting for the Barton and Wilson community.”
Points are awarded for each sport based on the participating teams’ regular-season conference finish, with bonus points given out to the Conference Carolinas Tournament champion and runner-up.
Barton shared regular-season titles in men’s and women’s volleyball, and won Conference Carolinas Tournament titles in both sports as well. Men’s tennis also claimed a league tournament crown, and both women’s tennis and men’s golf earned runner-up points.
However, Barton’s leap from eighth a year ago to third place this year was truly a collaborative effort, as 17 of the 18 programs that participated in a sport last season improved their point total, 13 of them gaining two Hawn Cup points or more over last year.
“To jump from eighth to third in one year is a testament to how hard the coaches and student-athletes have worked,” Wilkinson said. “Barton Athletics is fortunate to have a tremendous staff of sport coaches, strength coaches and athletic trainers who work tirelessly to achieve excellence.”
Since the 2010-2011 season, Conference Carolinas has handed out additional Hawn Cup awards solely for women’s sports and men’s sports. Barton also placed third in both of those rankings, the highest finish ever. The previous best for either gender had been fifth place, the men last year and the women in 2013-14.
This year, Barton teams finished fourth or better in the regular-season standings in 13 of the 19 conference sports in which they participated.
“I am appreciative of the strong leadership shown within the student-athlete population, and I am especially pleased with how well they supported each other throughout the year,” Wilkinson said. “2016-17 has been a great year, and the future is bright!”