Texas A&M Women Begin 2009 Indoor Track and Field Campaign with No. 1 Ranking

By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA

January 8, 2009   

NEW ORLEANS – After finishing the 2008 indoor track and field season in seventh place at the NCAA Championships, the Texas A&M Aggie women will begin the 2009 season with the No. 1 ranking in hand in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I women’s indoor track and field preseason rankings.

The Aggies are led by juniors Porscha Lucas and Jessica Beard. Both Beard and Lucas picked up two All-American honors last year at the NCAA Championships. Beard is the defending 400-meter dash champion and also ran on the runner-up 1600-meter relay team. Lucas finished fourth overall in the 200-meter dash and 11th in the 60-meter dash.

A&M also will return All-Americans Sandy Wooten, who ran on the 1600-meter relay, and Ashika Charan, an All-American in both the long and triple jumps, and Jeneba Tarmoh.

LSU, last year’s NCAA Championship runner-up, will begin 2009 ranked second behind the Aggies. LSU picked up 127.20 points and is led by junior LaTavia Thomas, the defending 800-meter champion. LSU also returns junior All-Americans Samantha Henry and Andrea Linton. Henry finished fifth in the 60-meter dash, while Linton placed seventh and ninth in the long and triple jumps.

No. 3 Michigan finished third in the team championship standings last year and is led by Bettie Wade (2nd in the pentathlon at 2008 Indoor NCAAs), and Tiffany Offili (defending 60-meter Hurdles champion). Michigan also placed second in the DMR behind Tennessee. Geena Gall, fourth in the 800 at the 2008 Indoor NCAA Championships, will also return for the Wolverines.

Tennessee is ranked fourth followed by Florida State at No. 5. Tennessee will look to improve on its eighth place championship finish from a year ago. The Lady Vols are led by distance standout Sarah Bowman and sprinters Lynne Layne, and Celriece Law.

Fifth-ranked Florida State returns all three All-Americans from the 2008 championship squad, including two defending national champions. Susan Kuijken (3000-meter champion) and Hannah England (Mile champion) both will look to defend their titles from 2008. The Seminoles also return Kimberly Williams, a standout in the jumps.

Arizona State is ranked sixth, followed by Virginia Tech at No. 7 and Oregon at No. 8. Arizona State is the defending champion from 2008 but lost several key members from that championship squad. The Sun Devils do return All-Americans Sarah Stevens and Stephanie Garnett. Tech is led by hurdlers Kristi Castlin, and Queen Harrison. Castlin and Harrison went two-three in the 60-meter hurdle finals in 2008.

Texas Tech opens up at No. 9 in the rankings led by senior standout Sally Kipyego. Minnesota (No. 10) completes the women’s Division I top ten.

Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Penn State, and Arizona complete the women’s Division I top 15.

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 women’s indoor track and field preseason rankings
January 7, 2009

Rank

School

Points

Final ’08

1

Texas A&M

149.39

7

2

LSU

127.20

2

3

Michigan

119.57

3

4

Tennessee

117.19

8

5

Florida State

109.87

6

6

Arizona State

84.35

1

7

Virginia Tech

82.42

10

8

Oregon

81.98

9

Texas Tech

81.27

10

10

Minnesota

74.08

15

11

Arkansas

69.90

12

Texas

68.83

4

13

Florida

67.64

8

14

Penn State

67.63

16

15

Arizona

66.71

22

16

South Carolina

64.65

17

Stanford

61.33

5

18

North Carolina

46.32

21

19

UTEP

44.63

13

20

Miami (Fla.)

39.27

17

21

Texas Christian

37.31

22

Kentucky

36.56

23

Alabama

33.76

25

24

Nebraska

33.73

25

Louisville

31.87