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Wildcats aim for yet another NCAA title

Nick Jones is ranked No. 1 in the discus in NCAA Division II.
Senior Amos Sang won the 10,000 meters Friday night to get Abilene Christian University off to a running start at the 2011 NCAA Division II outdoor championships in Turlock, Calif.
Only nine Wildcats qualified to compete for the men’s team championship in 11 events and one relay, but half of them are same quartet (Sang, Desmond Jackson, Nick Jones and Ramon Sparks that combined for an improbable – considering they competed in just a handful of events – NCAA indoor national team title in March.
Entering this meet, the Wildcats own the nation’s best times/marks in five events: Jones in the discus, Jackson in the 100 and 200 meters, Sang in the 10,000 meters and Amanda Ouedraogo in the women’s triple jump. ACU’s men’s 4×100 relay also owns the top time in that event.
A win this weekend would boost ACU further up the Learfield Directors Cup rankings, which measure overall excellence among colleges and universities competing in NCAA athletics. The Wildcats ranked third in the nation as of May 26 with 575 points, trailing only Grand Valley State (916.5 points) and Grand Canyon University (598 points).
Grand Valley has won the last seven Learfield Directors Cup titles, thanks in large part to its diverse program, which offers five more sports than ACU – including women’s golf and lacrosse, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving – to serve its more than 24,000 students. Grand Canyon enrolls more than 25,000 students. ACU is considerably smaller than both institutions, with an enrollment of 4,728 in 2010-11.
The closest Learfield competitor to ACU among Lone Star Conference schools is Central Oklahoma. The Bronchos are in 27th place with 324.5 points.
ACU teams won six LSC titles and three NCAA regional titles in 2010-11, and qualified 10 teams for NCAA regional or national championship competition.
Abilene Christian has won 53 NCAA team championships in track and field, more than any other university. The Wildcats have captured 63 national titles overall.
Only four institutions, including USC, UCLA and Stanford, have won more NCAA team championships in all sports than ACU.
Follow the live results of the 2011 NCAA Division II track and field championships here.