Wartburg College in Waverly has become one of the most successful small-college sports programs in the state. The school won the Iowa Conference all-sports trophy in both men’s and women’s athletics. Conference Commissioner John Cochrane says the 10 schools are given points for their conference finish in each sport.Cochrane says Wartburg finished first in three women’s sports and first or second in seven of the nine men’s sports. He says Wartburg’s success is “reflective of the general institutional commitment they have toward their athletic programs.”Iowa’s three state-supported universities have all had to cut sports due to budget problems. While Iowa Conference schools haven’t cut sports programs, Cochrane says the state’s budget woes are felt on the 10 campuses. He says since they don’t rely as much on state funds, the budget cuts at the state level are directly reflected. He says however, they face the same costs of education as the public schools.Wartburg is one of two Iowa Conference schools to install all-weather turf in their football stadiums, an amenity most often seen at bigger schools. Cochrane says the fields are an important tool for the schools in recruiting athletes.The last Iowa Conference school to sweep the men’s and women’s trophies was Loras in the 1996-97 season.
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