Adams State, Lincoln (Mo.) Enter NCAA Division II Championships at No. 1
NEW ORLEANS – The song remains the same for the national team ranking leaders in Division II heading into national championship weekend. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Monday the latest calculation of its team rankings has the men of Adams State and the women of Lincoln (Mo.) still on top.
National team rankings prior to the NCAA Championships use only the season bests of those who have declared and been accepted by the NCAA into the national meet. The NCAA Division II Championships will be held beginning this Friday, March 12, in Albuquerque, N.M.
MEN: Adams State Expected to Rack Oodles of Points from Distance Events, Looking for First Indoor Title
Adams State of Alamosa, Colo., will enter the national championships with the No. 1-ranked men’s team, accumulating 270.48 ranking points via its field-high 16 entries. Adams State, who took second at the 2009 national championships, will attempt to dethrone No. 2 Saint Augustine’s (202.43) for national supremacy. The Falcons of Saint Augustine’s scored 105 points in last year’s championships to top the 80 placed by the Grizzlies of Adams State to capture their second-consecutive and 11th overall indoor national title.
Adams State has seven of its 16 entries coming from mid-distance events, namely the 800 meter and mile run. Six of the team’s entries are in the 5000 meter run. Aaron Braun, the USTFCCCA Central Region Track Athlete of the Year, is the top ranked entry in both the mile and 5000 meter events and is the defending champion in the mile. Reuben Mwei, the NCAA Champion and USTFCCCA National Cross Country Runner of the Year from the fall, is entered in both the mile and 5000 meters as well.
Second-ranked Saint Augustine’s returns Josh Scott, the defending NCAA Indoor Champion in both the 200- and 400-meter dash. Scott is the top seed in both events and will also try to defend the Falcons national crown in the 4×400-meter relay.
No. 3 Ashland (103.31) enters the meet tied with Abilene Christian having the third-most entries in the meet with nine, six of which come from throwing events. Ashland junior Kurt Roberts has a season best of 64-4½ (19.62m) in the shot put, a mark that is over four feet from the nearest competitor and an all-time DII indoor best.
Abilene Christian is the fourth-ranked team on the shoulders of triple jumper Ramon Sparks. No. 5 Central Missouri enters the meet with four qualified in the heptathlon.
The GLIAC leads all conferences with six named to the national top 25 while the RMAC sits four and the MIAA and Northeast-10 both have three teams represented.
WOMEN: Top-Ranked Lincoln (Mo.) Hopes to Sprint to Second-Straight Crown
The No. 1-nationally ranked Blue Tigers of Lincoln University (216.76), located in Jefferson City, Mo., will attempt to win their second straight and fourth overall indoor national title this upcoming weekend. The Blue Tigers enter the meet with a championship-best 19 entries, 14 of which fall into the sprint and hurdle categories. Lincoln will have six runners line up for the 60-meter dash and five for the 200 meters. Semoy Hackett, the USTFCCCA South Central Region Track Athlete of the Year, holds top three seeds in the 60 and 200 and will look to defend her title in the 200. At last year’s championships, Lincoln scored 100½ points for the national championship, doubling up on runner-up Grand Valley State’s 48.
No. 2 Grand Valley State (176.40) brings 15 entries to this year’s championships and will provide a balanced attack across the board, netting four entries in the jumps, four in the mid-distance events, and two apiece in the sprints and throws. The Lakers will challenge in many events, but the lone top seed for the squad belongs to freshman Liz Murphy in the weight throw. Murphy’s season best in the event of 62-8 (19.10m) is just three inches ahead of second-seeded Tara Cooper of Ashland.
Adams State (126.02) and Neb.-Omaha (125.56) will enter the championships as the third- and fourth-ranked teams, respectively, and garner nine entries apiece. Neb.-Omaha has 800-meter favorite Anja Puc and triple jump national leader Nkeiruka Domike.
No. 5 Ashland has three throwers qualified for the meet, including shot put top seed Kelly Ash. Ashland’s Abby Kacsandi leads the DII group with the best high jump clearance of the year.
The MIAA has five women’s teams in the national top 25 while the GLIAC spots four and the Northern Sun claims three.
About the Rankings
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NCAA Division II
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Rankings
2010 Week #6 – March 8, Pre-NCAA Week
|14||Saginaw Valley State||50.19||19|
|19||Grand Valley State||44.48||13|
Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Rankings
2010 Week #6 – March 8, Pre-NCAA Week
|2||Grand Valley State||176.40||2|
|7||St. Cloud State||74.27||10|
|8||Johnson C. Smith||72.91||11|
|17||Fort Hays State||45.50||18|
|24||New Mexico Highlands||32.49||17|
|25||Cal State LA||32.20||—|