In a unique year in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) that saw its first competition begin in January, The College of St. Scholastica narrowly secured its 17th Jerome Kruse All-Sports Competition Award.
The 2020-21 campaign saw a very competitive race for the Kruse Award as the Saints edged the post-Winter leaders, Northwestern, 102.5-98.5.
The Saints kept their Kruse Award streak alive with an outstanding finish to the athletic year, dominating in the fall-spring sports. CSS claimed the conference title in Women’s Soccer, Women’s Golf, Softball, Men’s Tennis and Men’s Outdoor Track & Field. St. Scholastica also notched second-place finishes in the UMAC in Baseball, Volleyball and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field to pace its output.
Northwestern also had a very strong fall-spring season, going back-and-forth with CSS for the Kruse Award race. The Eagles claimed the conference crown in Volleyball, Women’s Tennis and Baseball, securing their first UMAC Baseball Championship since 1996. UNW also finished second in Men’s Golf and third in Women’s Golf, Men’s Tennis and Men’s Outdoor Track and Field.
The next three teams in the standings are Wisconsin-Superior, Minnesota Morris and Bethany Lutheran, in order. UWS posted 88 points, securing the UMAC-title in both Men’s Golf and Men’s Soccer. Minnesota Morris (74.5 points) found itself at the top of the podium again in Track and Field, claiming the conference Outdoor title on the women’s side. Bethany Lutheran (72 points) made its push towards the top-half with top-three finishes in Men’s Golf, Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Softball.
The standings rounded out with Martin Luther in sixth (45 points), North Central finishing seventh (36 points) followed by Crown (33 points) and Northland (30.5 points).
Due to an uneven number of contests being played in men’s and women’s basketball, overall winning percentage was used to determine places per conference tiebreaker criteria. Teams tied with the same winning percentage earned the same number of points applicable to place in the standings.
Since the award’s inception in 1996-97, St. Scholastica has won the Kruse Award a UMAC-best 17 times. The award, which is named after Mr. Jerome Kruse, a longtime athletic director at the former Northwestern College (Wis.) and Martin Luther College, travels to the full-member institution with the most points accumulated by the place finishes of the college’s athletic teams in the final standings of 18 conference sponsored sports.