Conference Meets Reveal New Players in National Team Race
By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA
March 2, 2010
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday the sixth weekly update of the NCAA Division I National Team Rankings for indoor track & field. The previous weekend, full of conference championships from around the country, produced several storylines. A total of 22 conference championships exposed new collegiate leaders, freshmen stepping up in every way, and a better understanding of which teams will be among the players vying for national championships in two weeks.
While the very top of the men’s and women’s leaderboard remain unchanged as Texas A&M (men) and Oregon (women) keep top-ranked spots, a handful of teams zoomed up the national top 10 and 25 ladder in the latest rankings.
Only season-best performances by athletes and relays in all events were used to compile this week’s national team rankings. Next week in week seven, national team rankings will be compiled using only season-best performances from athletes and relays, declared and accepted, into the NCAA Indoor Championships. Only two weeks until the best in the nation descend to Fayetteville, Ark., for the national gathering to be held March 12-13.
MEN: Texas A&M Still Tops, But Here Comes Florida and Others
The Aggies of Texas A&M (141.69) remain first in the national team rankings for the fifth-straight week as a result of six performances ranked nationally in the top five, including the top performing 4×400-meter relay in the country (3:04.86). Texas A&M placed third to now-No. 9 Oklahoma and now-No. 11 Nebraska in a hotly contested Big 12 race last weekend.
No. 2 Florida (136.89) climbed two spots in the rankings as a result of several improvements to team-member season bests at last weekend’s SEC Championships. The Gators finished runner-up to now-No. 6 Arkansas by just four points in the meet and had several nationally prominent performances to go with. Calvin Smith improved his 200-meter time to a co-national-leading 20.67 and his 400-meter time to a third-ranked 45.61. Freshman Tony McQuay notched times of 20.84 and 45.91 in the same two events, respectively for marks now placed in the national top 10. Sophomore triple jumper Christian Taylor also impressed with a winning performance of 55-2¾ (16.83m), a mark that ranks No. 1 in the collegiate ranks by 11 inches.
Oregon’s Andrew Wheating helped keep the No. 3 Ducks (134.27) flying with a 3:58.20 (OT) mile clocking at the MSPF Championships in Seattle last weekend.
No. 4 LSU dropped a spot, but had junior Walter Henning set a new bar for the year in the weight throw with a 78-1 (23.80m) toss at the SEC meet.
Arizona State remains at the No. 5 ranked team while SEC Champion Arkansas stays at No. 6. The Razorbacks’ Alain Bailey claimed a national-leading long jump mark of 26-9¾ (8.17m).
No. 7 belongs to Texas Tech who moved up two spots as the result of Omo Osaghae’s 7.65 time in the 60-meter hurdles at the Big 12 meet and frosh Bryce Lamb’s second- and third-ranked long and triple jumps from the previous weekend. Virginia Tech leaped seven spots to No. 8 while Big 12 Champ Oklahoma shifted up three more spots to No. 9. Indiana rounds out the top 10.
The SEC has seven conference members in the top 25 to lead the country while the Big 12 places six.
WOMEN: Oregon Wins MPSF, Stays at No. 1
The women of Oregon (185.55) still lays claim as the top-ranked team in the country after a winning stanza at the MPSF Championships. In Seattle, the Ducks had a number of performances with national impact, coming both from newcomers and veterans. Frosh Jordan Hasay captured most headlines with a 4:35.01 (OT) mile clocking that now sits No. 3 among collegians.
Texas A&M (158.94) won their fourth-straight Big 12 Championship crown on Saturday and remains No. 2 in the country. Jessica Beard clocked 51.15 (OT) at 400 meters for the top-collegiate seed in the country and Gabby Mayo ran 8.05 in the 60-meter hurdles for the second-best time in the NCAA.
SEC Champion Florida stays at No. 3 (113.51) while ACC Champion Clemson (108.53) moved up three spots from the previous week to land at No. 4. Clemson’s Liane Weber claimed the national lead in the pentathlon by scoring 4,262 to win that conference crown. Junior April Sinkler now ranks in the national top five in both the high jump and long jump for the Tigers.
Tennessee moved to No. 5 this week. Phoebe Wright for the Lady Vols improved her national-leading 800-meter time to 2:01.47 in claiming SEC superiority in the event. LSU is now No. 6 in the country.
No. 7 Penn State jumped up three spots after winning the Big Ten. Arkansas moved down to No. 8 and Villanova went down to No. 9 after an idle week. The Blessing Okagbare show has moved UTEP to the national top 10 from No. 17. Okagbare is not only leading the nation in two events, the long jump (21-11¾/6.70m) and the 60 meters (7.18), but also has automatic qualifying, nationally top five spots in the 200 meters and triple jump.
The conference count has the SEC with six teams in the national top 25. The Big 12 has five.
About the Rankings
For more on the rankings and links to guideline and rationale information visit …
NCAA Division I
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Rankings
2010 Week #6 – March 2
Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Rankings
2010 Week #6 – March 2