Prior to the start of the annual track and field Alumni Meet, MIT head coach Halston Taylor was presented with the 2010-11 Deb Vercauteren Division III Women's Program of the Year award on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 7. United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) CEO Sam Seems was on hand to present the award and MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson was also in attendance to recognize the outstanding accomplishment by the MIT women's cross country and track and field teams.
MIT received the award, which is given to an institution with the best combined team finishes in each of the NCAA's three championships in a given academic year, thanks to third-place showing at the cross country and Indoor meets and last week's fourth-place finish at the outdoor competition.
Taylor has built his program into one of the most dominant in all of Division III, as evidenced by this honor. His teams have shown great consistency at the NCAA championships, finishing among the top 10 in the country at seven straight national meets. His athletes have earned 54 All-America honors over the past three years, including 14 at last week's outdoor championship.
The NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh women's head coach Deb Vercauteren. Her Titans have won a combined 18 NCAA national titles and her student-athletes have combined to earn over 345 All-America performances. Vercauteren has won an impressive 36 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (15 cross country, 11 indoors, and 10 outdoors).
The NCAA Division III Program of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division III cross country/track and field programs. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field seasons) based on the institution's finish at the NCAA Division III Championships. With 10 points, MIT outscored second-place Williams College by seven, the largest margin of victory in the history of the award. The Cardinal and Gray finished as the runner-up in the standings in 2009-10, missing out on the honor by just one point.