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Athletes continue competition to win Falcon Cup

March 14, 2014

Sam Greeley helps a young Falcon fan skate at Skate with the Falcons, hosted by the Women’s Hockey team on Feb. 15 at Hunt Arena.
Sam Greeley helps a young Falcon fan skate at Skate with the Falcons, hosted by the Women’s Hockey team on Feb. 15 at Hunt Arena. Athletes gain points for their teams by
attending other UWRF sporting events and participating in volunteer work, among other things. (Kathy M. Helgeson/University Communications)

As the winter sports season is wrapping up, all varsity sports teams on campus continue to compete to take home the Falcon Cup at the end of the year.

The competition pits all 15 varsity sports against one another in a year-long battle to take home the Falcon Cup.

There are six categories where teams can earn points: academic achievement, athletic excellence, campus involvement, community service, Falcon pride and attendance at the Falcon success series events. A complete list of how the points are distributed in each category can be found on the UW-River Falls athletic website.

While all teams only participate in their sport at a select part of the year, all of the teams are always competing for the Falcon Cup.

“Teams can earn points at any time during the academic year, regardless if they are in season or out of season,” said Assistant Athletic Director Crystal Lanning.

The competition was the creation of former Assistant Director of Athletic Performance Andy King, who combined parts of similar competitions he had seen at other universities such as UW-Whitewater and Hamline. However, King left the University in late February to take a position coaching a minor league baseball team.

“I have taken over coordination of the Falcon Cup since Andy’s departure,” Lanning said. She added that the Falcon Cup should remain a staple in the UWRF athletics program for years to come.

At the beginning of the year, the excitement was high for the Falcon Cup. Both the men’s and women’s track and field team attended a tennis match, marking the first time in years that the tennis team had a cheering section. Additionally, over 100 athletes attended a home volleyball game in October, according to King. Since then, though, the momentum has slowed down.

“I think we lost some momentum over J Term when many of the fall and spring athletes were not on campus, but I am hoping the excitement will pick up as we get closer to the end of the year,” Lanning said.

However, the loss of momentum for the program could also be attributed to the departure of its creator.

“I believe the program feels unstable as the creator became absent,” said Matt Shutey, a senior on the men’s track and field team.

Regardless, some teams on campus are continuing to pile up the points in the competition.

“Women’s basketball has been in the lead for most of the year, but we have some teams that are starting to catch them,” Lanning said. “Should be exciting to see how things shake out in May.”

The women’s basketball team has 457 points, as of March 10, 67 points higher than the next closest team, which is women’s hockey with 390 points. The football team is third with 387.

If the women’s basketball team can hold its lead for the next few months, they will claim the Falcon Cup, as well as bragging rights, at the Falcon Awards ceremony which is held at the end of the academic year.