The Buffs accumulated 195 points from their winter performances, adding that to their fall total of 157 points for a combined total of 352 points. Milligan had the highest score of all the teams in the Appalachian Athletic Conference with SCAD Atlanta behind the Buffs at No. 16 and Union College in third at No. 49.
The Milligan track & field team’s successful indoor season helped the Buffs achieve their high ranking. The team sent 14 (eight male and six female) members of their squad to the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships this year. Among the 14 qualifiers were a pair of national champions and 10 Buffs seeded inside the top 13.
Rasheem Brown headlined Milligan’s success, winning his third NAIA national title by successfully defending the national championship in the 60-meter hurdles. Brown re-set his own NAIA record with a blistering 7.70 mark to win the championship.
Tim Thacker set a new Milligan record and personal best, as he finished as the national runner-up for the second year in a row. Gabrielle Mardis also finished as the national runner-up in the 3k after being pre-seeded at No. 13. Also competing in the 3k was Katlyn Haas who finished in fourth place.
Other members of Milligan’s squad who had respectable finishes included Nathan Baker, who took third in the men’s 3k, Bekah Owen and the men’s distance medley relay crew of Sam Wehner, Ronan Philippot, Alex Windham and Thacker with eighth-place finishes in the 5k and DMR, respectively. All of Milligan’s members in the top eight earned All-American status.
Overall, the men finished the national championships ninth with 25 points and the women finished 20th with 14 points. This marked the highest-ever national finish as a team on the men’s side and the 30th and 31st national team finishes inside the top 25. The men were seeded 14th coming in but jumped five spots and finished as the top program from the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
In the Learfield standings, the men brought in 69 points and the women totaled 53.
The men’s and women’s swim teams helped Milligan earn a top ranking after their efforts this season. After finishing third in the AAC tournament, the Buffs sent 12 members to the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships.
Maggie Halloran, the AAC co-female swimmer of the year, earned her sixth career All-American recognition Saturday afternoon with a sixth-place finish in the women’s 200 backstroke. Along with earning All-American status, Halloran also rebroke the school record in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
The women finished in 18th place and brought in 38 points with the men finishing in 19th place and bringing in 35 points.