RUSSELLVILLE – Arkansas Tech University captured the 2017-18 Great American Conference All-Sports Trophy after completing an academic calendar year that saw all 10 of its teams finish their seasons in the top half of the GAC standings.
Arkansas Tech overcame a 4.5-point deficit it faced entering the spring as the Golden Suns and Wonder Boys combined for one title, women’s golf, and a pair of second-place finishes, men’s golf and softball, to overtake Harding and win the program’s sixth GAC All-Sports award in the league’s seven-year history. All three of those teams qualified for NCAA postseason while the two golf teams each advanced to the NCAA National Championships.
The Bisons took second in the standings. The women’s track team’s second-place result produced the best spring finish for the program. The men’s golf team shared fourth and also earned their second-straight trip to the NCAA Central/Midwest Super Regional.
Oklahoma Baptist completed its first season as a full member of the GAC by placing third in the All-Sports race. The Lady Bison claimed championships in women’s tennis and women’s track & field while the Bison baseball team shared second with Southern Arkansas. In addition to the women’s tennis and baseball teams, the women’s golf team also qualified for NCAA postseason play.
SAU jumped from ninth following the winter standings up to fourth after softball won its first GAC regular-season championship and baseball shared second with Oklahoma Baptist. The Lady Muleriders advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second time in three years and reached the semifinals.
Southeastern Oklahoma State finished fifth, 1.5 points ahead of Henderson State. The Savage Storm took second in women’s tennis and third in both men’s golf and softball. The golf team advanced to the NCAA National Championships for the second time in three years.
The Reddies tallied the second-most points in the spring season thanks to a fifth-straight GAC Championship in men’s golf and top-four finishes in women’s golf, baseball and softball.
Southwestern Oklahoma State edged Southern Nazarene by 1.5 points for seventh. The Lady Bulldogs turned in a program-best second-place finish in women’s golf. Both golf teams earned trips to the NCAA Regionals for the sixth-straight springs.
After consecutive 12th-place finishes, Northwestern Oklahoma State completed the greatest year-to-year improvement in All-Sports history. They tallied 51 points, 26.5 more than last year, and placed ninth.
East Central, Ouachita and Arkansas-Monticello rounded out the standings. The Weevils won their first GAC baseball regular-season title.