MARION, Ind. -- Eight conference championships. Four conference tournament championships. Five national championships.
Indiana Wesleyan University completed one of its finest athletic seasons to date during the 2007-08 season. The Wildcats captured titles, broke records and placed many student-athletes on All-American lists.
From local dominance to national prominence, Indiana Wesleyan continued to establish itself as a top-tier athletic program.
"I am very proud of our student-athletes and their coaches for accomplishing so much this past year," said Indiana Wesleyan Athletics Director Dr. Mike Fratzke."Everyone seemed to dig deep and show their perseverance and strength. We have a very committed department and excellent young people to work with."
Indiana Wesleyan secured the Commissioner's Cup for the seventh consecutive season as the Wildcats proved to be the overall best institution in the Mid-Central College Conference. The Commissioner's Cup is a point based system that awards each school points for their teams finish in the MCC standings.
Indiana Wesleyan finished with 111 points, outdistancing runner-up Bethel (Ind.) College who ended with 93 points. IWU ran away with the school's 13th Commissioner's Cup by winning eight of the 14 conference championships.
Highlighting the conference season were MCC championships by men's and women's cross country, golf, men's and women's soccer, women's tennis, volleyball and men's track and field.
Four regular season champions also repeated as the MCC tournament champions. Men's and women's soccer, women's tennis and volleyball earned the post-season title.
"The competitiveness of the MCC challenges everybody to do their best against the conference opponents which are our measuring stick for success," said Fratzke. "Each conference team challenges each other and it brings out the best for a very competitive and parity leveled league."
At the national level, the Wildcats currently rank 23rd out of NAIA programs in the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup. The Directors' Cup honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's. The schools are awarded points based upon finish at the NAIA national championships.
In a similar format, Indiana Wesleyan attained the President's Cup of the NCCAA as the best overall athletic program. Indiana Wesleyan cruised to the Cup with 119 points as Cedarville (Ohio) University was second with 77.75 points.
Indiana Wesleyan accomplished one of their most successful seasons at the national level with five national championships. Women's soccer, men's basketball, women's tennis and men's indoor and outdoor track and field compiled National Christian College Athletic Association championship banners.
In all, 14 teams participated in NCCAA national championships while seven competed at the NAIA national championships.
Twelve of the 14 teams which partook in the NCCAA championships placed in the top-five and five of the seven teams at the NAIA nationals were in the top-16.
According to Fratzke, "The belief that our coaches have in the NCCAA has been a significant attribute to our success. The fellowship, friendships, Christian service projects and cooperative competition all bring value to the NCCAA championships."
With team success came many individual accolades for Wildcat student-athletes. Twenty-three Wildcats earned 32 NAIA All-American selections in 11 different sports.
The 2007-08 season also brought Indiana Wesleyan a new national record.
With the 2006-07 women's basketball team winning the first NAIA national championship in school history courtesy of a perfect 38-0 season, the 2007-08 Wildcats rattled off 18 straight victories to begin the season to shatter the NAIA women's basketball record with 56 consecutive victories. The streak was nine better than Southwestern Oklahoma's 47 straight victories from 1983-84.
"The success of the 2007-08 academic and athletic year should fair well and carry over into 2008-09 with new freshmen anxiously coming in to compliment the successful upper class men and women," stated Fratzke."They have already established themselves in the quadrangular plan of established roles for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors that their coaches have laid out for them."
As Fratzke turns over the reigns of the athletic department to Mark DeMichael, he foresees continued success for the Wildcats.
Fratzke said, "The tradition of success should continue with new leadership being given more time to help facilitate the momentum of an already established program."
The 2008-09 season brings much change for Indiana Wesleyan athletic department. But the Wildcats count on continued success on the field of play to carry over a sense of familiarity.