BOULDER, Colo. – In a busy weekend of college rugby, five Men’s Division I sevens tournaments were held from Nov. 9-10. Each tournament presented an opportunity for five schools to automatically qualify for the 2013 USA Rugby College 7s National Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
Being the final qualifying tournaments leading up to Nationals, these events were also the last chance for schools to post quality wins and increase their chances of being selected as an at-large participant at the National Championship.
The Atlantic Coast League 7s Championship was won by traditional power Navy. The Midshipmen won their league Championship and a bid to Nationals in impressive fashion. Navy won all five of its matches, including a 57-0 shellacking of North Carolina State in the Cup Finals The less than stellar showing by the Wolfpack in the finals did not compromise an otherwise solid tournament performance as NC State received an at-large selection from the USA Rugby Collegiate Championship Committee.
Dartmouth continued its dominance over the rest of the schools from the Ivy League by winning all four of its matches without allowing a single point on the way to an automatic berth to Nationals. Impressively, Dartmouth was the only school to enter two sides in the tournament, and the B-side finished second behind Dartmouth’s elite side. The Ivy League champions will try to improve on last year’s ninth-place finish at Nationals.
San Jose State Men’s Rugby will be making its first appearance in a National Championship in the club’s 41-year history. The Spartans defeated Chico State 19-7 in the final of the inaugural Pacific Western 7s. San Jose State is one of seven teams from the state of California to earn a selection to the College 7s National Championship.
Making its first appearance at Nationals will be the University of Auburn after a 14-12 victory against Florida at the Southeastern 7s. Florida’s second-place finish was enough for the Championship Committee to push the Gators through to the National Championship. The same can be said for South Carolina. The Gamecocks will be making the short trip to Greensboro after a fourth-place finish at the Southeastern 7s to go along with their win at the non-automatic qualifying Battle for Atlanta tournament.
Coming off of the heels of winning the Battle in the Bay, Saint Mary’s College continued to impress with a win at the California 7s. San Diego State’s run to the final capped a successful fall schedule that now includes a trip to Nationals, as the Championship Committee sees the Aztecs fit to compete with the nation’s best at the College 7s Championship.
The Men’s Division I tournament at the 2013 College 7s National Championship will consist of 24 teams. The six individual pools will be announced later in the week.