MASON CITY – The NIACC men’s and women’s cross country teams and men’s and women’s soccer teams will compete at the NJCAA Division II level starting in the 2020 season.
NJCAA cross country along with men’s and women’s soccer have reached a level of participation to expand divisional commitments to include NJCAA Division II.
Following a member declaration process throughout the association, competition at the NJCAA Division II level for each sport will begin in the fall of 2020.
Previously, cross country and soccer offered competition at the NJCAA Division I and NJCAA Division III level.
With that, the ICCAC will split into two divisions for all four sports.
Nine teams competed in cross country in 2019.
Five institutions, Indian Hills, Iowa Central, Iowa Western, Scott and Southwestern will remain Division I. NIACC, DMACC, Hawkeye and Southeastern will now compete at the Division II level.
The teams will compete together at the NJCAA Region XI Championships each fall with the final results separated by division
The national meet will be held at the same site but separate NJCAA Division I and NJCAA Division II races will be held.
The NIACC men placed third at the regional meet in 2019 behind Iowa Central and Iowa Western. The Trojans placed 18th at the 2019 national meet.
The NIACC women also placed third at the regional meet in 2019 behind Iowa Central and Iowa Western. The Lady Trojans placed 16th at the 2019 national meet.
The soccer landscape separated evenly as well. Half of the schools opted to remain NJCAA Division I and the other half elected for NJCAA Division II.
NJCAA Division I soccer for the ICCAC includes Indian Hills, Iowa Central, Iowa Lakes, Iowa Western and Marshalltown (men only).
NJCAA Division II schools for the ICCAC level are NIACC, Hawkeye CC, Northeast CC, Scott CC and Southeastern. Dakota County Technical College will also join the scheduling agreement, representing the only NJCAA Division II school from NJCAA Region XIII.
Both divisions will play a double round robin schedule against their respective division, pairing each team against each other twice with one game played at each school. Schools can schedule cross division matches as non-conference matches.
For the postseason, each division will hold separate regional tournaments with the champion advancing to a district championship event.
The NIACC men’s soccer team was 5-6-1 overall and 2-6-1 in the ICCAC in 2019.
The NIACC women’s soccer team was 3-8 overall and 2-6-1 in 2019.
The addition of a new division is the first for an NJCAA sport since the association added Division II volleyball and softball in the 1999-2000 academic year.
Cross country hosted Division I, II, and III competition from 1991-2003 before dropping the Division II status. Men’s soccer added Division III competition in 1994 while the women’s side split between Division I and Division III in 2003.
Cross country and soccer will join baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s golf, softball, and volleyball to offer competition across all three NJCAA divisions.
The divisional structure of the NJCAA operates under three tiers – Division I, II, and III.
Member colleges associated with Division I may grant full athletic scholarships (tuition, books, fees, room and board), up to $250 in course required supplies and transportation costs one time per academic year to and from the college by direct route.
Division II members may grant athletic scholarships, but scholarships are limited to tuition, books, fees and up to $250 in course required supplies.
The Division III level does not permit member colleges to offer any athletic scholarships.
ICCAC Cross Country
NJCAA Division I: Indian Hills, Iowa Central, Iowa Western, Scott CC, Southwestern.
NJCAA Division II: DMACC, Hawkeye CC, NIACC, Southeastern.
NJCAA Division I: Indian Hills, Iowa Central, Iowa Lakes, Iowa Western, Marshalltown (men only).
NJCAA Division II: DCTC, Hawkeye CC, NIACC, Northeast CC, Scott CC, Southeastern.