Oregon Opens ’09 as Top Men’s Division I Indoor Track and Field Team

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

January 8, 2009   

NEW ORLEANS – The Oregon Ducks open up the 2009 season as the top ranked team in Division I men’s indoor track and field the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced on Wednesday.

Oregon is led by 2008 Beijing Olympians Andrew Wheating and Galen Rupp. The Ducks also return All-Americans Ashton Eaton (Heptathlon) and Andrew Acosta (Mile runner-up in 2008). Oregon finished 19th at the NCAA Championships in 2008.

Ranked second in the preseason rankings is Arizona State. Last year the Sun Devils took home the NCAA Championship team title outdueling No. 5 Florida State 44-41 in the overall team standings. Ryan Whiting returns for his junior season at Arizona State and is the defending shot put champion. Whiting, along with transfer Brandon Bethke and senior Joel Phillip should give the Sun Devils a shot at back-to-back national titles.

Arkansas is ranked third and will be seeking its first indoor national title since 2006. The Razorbacks return several All-Americans including defending national champion Nkosinza Balumbu who took home top honors in the triple jump a year ago. J-Mee Samuels is also back for Arkansas after earning two All-American honors in the 200-meter dash and 60-meter dash.

Florida comes in at No. 4 followed by in-state rival Florida State. FSU also returns several All-Americans. Gonzalo Barroilhet, the national champion in the heptathlon, returns to lead the way for the Seminoles as is Charles Clark, the 200-meter dash runner-up.

Texas A&M begins the bottom half of the top ten at No. 6 with Texas right behind the Aggies at No. 7.

LSU, fourth at the 2008 NCAA Championships, is ranked eighth and will have to replace a lot of star power in the sprints. Ex-Tiger Richard Thompson, a 2008 Silver Medalist, moved on, but the Tigers brought in transfer Walter Henning to compete in the weight/hammer throw. Trindon Holliday also returns for the Tigers. Holliday was the runner-up in the 60-meter dash in 2008.

Louisville (No. 9) and BYU (No. 10) complete the men’s top ten. Louisville is led by jumpers Tone Belt, Andre Black, and Rudon Bastian. Both Belt (long jump) and Black (triple jump) each won indoor national titles in 2007.

The 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Rankings will be released on Wednesdays during the indoor track and field season.  Rankings are compiled by Tom Lewis.

The 2009 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held March 13-14 in College Station, Texas.

USTFCCCA Division I men’s indoor track and field preseason rankings
January 7, 2009

Rank

School

Points

Final ’08

1

Oregon

132.21

19

2

Arizona State

129.59

1

3

Arkansas

129.31

6

4

Florida

126.03

8

5

Florida State

104.43

2

6

Texas A&M

102.28

10

7

Texas

81.73

3

8

LSU

79.42

4

9

Louisville

72.92

10

BYU

71.06

11

Kentucky

68.58

12

Texas Tech

67.14

13

Northern Iowa

65.07

9

14

Baylor

58.93

19

15

Nebraska

56.35

17

16

South Carolina

54.75

17

Michigan

53.68

18

Kansas State

52.00

19

Arizona

51.59

20

Georgia

48.95

21

Georgetown

48.59

17

22

Boise State

48.22

23

Missouri

42.83

24

UCLA

42.61

14

25

Stanford

41.33

7