Cowley finishes second in Pepsi/NATYCAA Awards
With tremendous success in its men and women’s athletic programs, Cowley College placed second in the Pepsi/NATYCAA (National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators) Awards standings, which recognizes excellence in two-year college athletics.
Monroe College in Rochester, N.Y., finished first and received a trophy along with a $2,500 scholarship. By placing second, Cowley received a trophy and $1,000 scholarship.
“To be top in the conference, region, and second in the nation is unbelievable,” Cowley College athletic director Tom Saia said. “You have to have a president and a Board of Trustees that believe in it. It’s because of Cowley president Dr. Pat McAtee that we are able to compete in all of our athletic programs.”
Monroe had three runner-up finishes at NJCAA National Tournaments this season: men's basketball, ice hockey and women's swimming and diving. They also finished third in men's swimming and diving and women's soccer.
Cowley’s women’s track and field team placed third at both the indoor and outdoor national championships, while the Tiger men’s track and field team placed fourth at the indoor national championships and third at the outdoor national championships.
The Cowley men’s cross country team won the conference title and placed fifth at the NJCAA Division I National Cross Country Championships, while the women’s cross country team placed fourth at nationals.
The Lady Tiger volleyball team placed third at the NJCAA Division II National Volleyball Tournament, while Cowley’s baseball team captured the Region VI title and advanced to play at the Junior College World Series.
Cowley’s women’s tennis team had four individual national champions and placed fourth at the NJCAA Women’s Tennis National Tournament, and the Tiger men’s tennis team finished in a tie for seventh at the national tournament.
The Lady Tiger softball team also captured its fourth straight Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division title, while the Cowley women’s basketball team won 20 games and finished second in the conference.
“This award is a great tribute to our coaches and our athletic department, it recognizes everything that we have got here,” Saia said.
The only sport that had some what of a down year was men’s basketball as the team finished with a record of 16-15. However, Cowley recently hired coaching legend Steve Eck to guide the basketball program. The basketball team expects to compete for conference and region titles.
McAtee, who is a huge supporter of Tiger athletics, was happy to see the athletic programs’ success recognized.
“It validates that we are one of the outstanding sports programs in the country,” McAtee said. “If students know we have one of the best athletic programs then we are going to attract students from across Kansas, which fills the dorms and keeps the classrooms full. Our athletic programs set us a part from others schools .”
Fellow Jayhawk Conference schools Johnson County Community College and Butler Community College finished third and fourth, respectively.
Points for the Pepsi/NATYCAA Awards are calculated based on each colleges finish at NJCAA Tournaments. Each first place finish is worth 20 points, second place 19, third 18, and so on. Total scores for both men's and women's programs are combined for their total score.
Top-five schools: (1) Monroe Community College, 179 points; (2) Cowley College, 163.5; (3) Johnson County Community College, 147.5; (4) Butler Community College, 115.5; (5) South Plains Community College, 114.5.