'GORHAM, Maine – Keene State College averaged 6.327 points to narrowly finish ahead of runner up Plymouth State College (6.233 points) and capture its third consecutive Little East Conference Commissioner's Cup.
Keene State, which captured six team titles during the course of the 2002-03 competitive year, has now won the Commissioner's Cup in each of the three years it has been presented. The Owls were triumphant in the sports of men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, softball and women's swimming and diving.
Eastern Connecticut State University finished third with an average of 5.527 points, while Western Connecticut State University followed in fourth with 5.432 points. Southern Maine averaged 5.034 points to finish fifth, while the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was sixth (3.769), Rhode Island College was seventh (3.538) and the University of Massachusetts Boston was eighth (2.595).
The Commissioner's Cup measures an institution's overall performance in the 19 sports sponsored by the conference. For sports in which the Little East conducts round-robin play (baseball, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball), point totals are determined by the order of finish in the final regular-season standings, with bonus points being awarded to the champion of the ensuing post-season conference tournament. For sports that do not conduct in-season play (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, and swimming), points are awarded based on the order of finish at the conference championship.
The Little East Conference completed its 17th year of athletic competition during the 2002-03 academic year. Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East has since grown to its present eight-school membership, sponsoring championship play in 19 intercollegiate athletics: baseball; men's and women's basketball; men's and women's cross country; field hockey; men's and women's lacrosse; men's and women's soccer; softball; women's swimming; men's and women's tennis; men's and women's indoor track; men's and women's outdoor track and women's volleyball.