After securing top-two finishes in the men's and women's all-sports standings, the Hanover College Athletic Department has been announced as the winner of the 2018-19 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner's Cup.
Hanover, with 155.67 points, is winning its first Commissioner's Cup and last won a combined sports overall trophy nearly two decades ago. The men won their second all-sports trophy this year with 77.5 points, while the women tallied 78.17 points to place second, just 0.16 points out of first. All three scoring totals are new highs for the College's athletic department.
As a whole, the Panthers have enjoyed arguably one of the greatest seasons in school history. The teams combined for eight Heartland Conference regular-season and tournament championships in 2018-19, while also accumulating 17 of a possible 22 top-three sport finishes for the Commissioner's Cup standings. Hanover had three fourth-place performances as well.
Men's basketball and women's tennis each won league regular-season and tournament titles, while the men’s and women’s soccer programs, football and women's track & field squads also added conference championships.
The Panthers finished with a double-digit advantage in the final standings as Rose-Hulman and Transylvania rounded out the top three with 143.83 and 137.17 points, respectively.
The HCAC sponsors 11 sports on both the men's and women's sides, creating 22 sports for the Commissioner's Cup. The conference sponsors basketball, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track & field, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, and tennis for both genders, while also having baseball and football on the men's side and softball and volleyball for the women.
For sports that crown both regular season and tournament champions, points are given based on the final regular-season standings. Points are also allocated during meet championships for the cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, golf and swimming.
Since the Commissioner's Cup inception in 2005-06, Hanover has 11 top-five finishes. The Panthers have now placed inside the top three each of the past seven years.