May 17, 2011
For the first time since the Big Sky Conference began handing out a Women's All-Sports Trophy in 1988-89, the University of Montana has laid claim to the title, or at least a share of it. The league office announced Tuesday that Montana and Portland State are the co-winners of the 2010-11 trophy.
The Grizzlies and Vikings are both first-time winners.
Northern Arizona won the Men's All-Sports Trophy. Montana finished sixth.
Before the 2010-11 school year, only Weber State, with nine women's titles, Boise State, with five, Northern Arizona, with five, and Sacramento State, with the last three, had won the Women's All-Sports Trophy.
Montana had just one first-place finish in 2010-11, the Grizzlies' cross country championship in October, but had upper-division finishes in seven of the Big Sky's eight women's sports.
The Grizzlies were second at the outdoor track and field championships, third in the regular-season tennis standings and third at the indoor track and field championships. They tied for third in volleyball and were fourth at the Big Sky golf championship and in the regular-season basketball standings.
Only soccer, which tied for fifth, did not have an upper-half finish in the conference.
Portland State won the golf title and shared regular-season championships in volleyball and basketball. The PSU soccer team was second.
In the men's race, Northern Arizona edged out Montana State by a single point in the Big Sky's metrics to win a trophy that dates back to 1963-64.
It was the Lumberjacks' ninth outright trophy to go along with one shared title. That total trails only historical leader Weber State, which has 15 outright trophies and one shared.
Montana won its lone Men's All-Sports Trophy in 1970-71.
The NAU men won the cross country championship, finished second at both indoor and outdoor track and field championships, tied for second in tennis and placed fourth in basketball.
MSU tied for the football title, placed second in cross country and was third at both the indoor and outdoor track and field championships.
Montana had upper-division finishes in basketball (second), tennis (tied for second) and football (tied for third).
The results of the All-Sports Trophies are used by the Big Sky Conference to determine the winner of the annual Sterling Savings Bank Presidents Cup, which is awarded each summer.
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