Saint Augustine’s Men and Angelo State’s Women Are Early Leaders in Division II
NEW ORLEANS – Saint Augustine’s men, the defending NCAA Division II outdoor national champions, start the 2010 outdoor season ranked No. 1 in the country the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday. In addition, the women of Angelo State have a sizeable, early lead on the field in the national team rankings in Division II.
This week’s release represents marks accumulated by teams in the 2010 outdoor season through last weekend as reported to the Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS). Mathematical formulae are used to compile a team’s ranking based on an athlete’s or relay’s standing in relation to others in the same event across the country. A team’s score in the national team rankings is a reflection of its “cumulative” chances as it relates ultimately to the NCAA Championships. Also released this week is the regional team index, a reflection of a team’s all-around strength in relation to other teams in their region.
The next release of updated rankings for NCAA’s Division II will continue on Tuesday, April 13, with weekly updates leading to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships to be held May 27-29 in Charlotte, N.C.
MEN: Saint Augustine’s Carries Slim Lead Over Chico State in First National Rankings
The Falcons of Saint Augustine’s begin the 2010 outdoor season as the top ranked team, narrowly ahead of No. 2 Chico State, 178.85-170.35. Saint Augustine’s scored 94 points in last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships to top seven-time defending champion Abilene Christian’s 86 for their first national title since 2001. By the time it’s said and done, Saint Augustine’s and now-No. 9 Abilene Christian will likely tussle for that national title again as they are the only two teams to have won national Division II outdoor titles since 1982.
Saint Augustine’s has surged to a fast start, thanks to defending 400-meter champ Josh Scott who ranks second in Division II at 400 meters (46.17) and third in the 200 (20.95). Scott also anchored the Division II-leading 4×400-meter relay squad to a 3:06.69 clocking.
No. 2 Chico State has stocked their distance core in the national rankings to start the early season. Among that core is Beau Rogers who currently leads D2 in the steeplechase (8:56.78). In addition, senior Michael Wickman is second nationally in the 800 (1:51.74).
Alaska-Anchorage (159.03) comes in as a solid No.3 squad and is flanked by a deep distance contingent. Marko Cheseto is the Division II leader at 5000 meters having notched a 14:06.77 this season. Alaska-Anchorage also has the NCAA D2 leader in the long jump with Demietrius Preston’s wind-aided 24-7¾ (7.50m) as the lead.
No. 4 Pittsburg State and No. 5 Angelo State are in the top five with No. 6 Ashland, No. 7 Emporia State, No. 8 UMass Lowell, No. 9 Abilene Christian, and No. 10 Cal State LA rounding out the top 10.
Four from the Lone Star Conference and four from the CCAA are in the national top 25 along with three apiece from the GLIAC, the MIAA, and the RMAC.
WOMEN: Angelo State Emerges as Early Leader
The top-ranked Rambelles of Angelo State (318.68) has emerged as the early team to beat in Division II as the team is loaded with seven of the nation’s top marks. Angelo State, who placed second at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships to current-No. 16 Lincoln (Mo.) by just three points, returns many of their stars from last year that made them a formidable opponent. Currently, multi-talented Aisha Adams has the nation’s lead in the heptathlon, high jump, and the long jump and was part of the Division II leading 4×400-meter relay squad that clocked 3:40.29 at last weekend’s Texas Relays. In addition, Angelo State’s Celethis Byrd has the national lead in the 200 (23.95) and the 400 (54.64). At 800 meters, Andria Nussey is leading the division with a 2:09.51 clocking.
UC San Diego chimes in as the No. 2 squad in the land with 203.97 ranking points. The Tritons have a national leader in defending NCAA champ Christine Merrill who is tops in Division II in the 400-meter hurdles (58.92). In addition, high jump defending NCAA outdoor champ Linda Rainwater has the second-best jump in the division this season (5-9¾, 1.76m). Rainwater was also the 2008 NCAA heptathlon champion and is a threat in other events.
No. 3 Abilene Christian, the 2008 NCAA team champions, has the nation’s leading 4×100-meter relay squad who clocked 46.05 at last weekend’s Texas Relays. The Wildcats also have the nation’s leader in the discus (Paige Newby) and javelin (Linda Brivule). Brivule is the two-time defending national champ with the javelin.
Seattle Pacific is No. 4 based partly on the performances of national leaders Jane Larson in the 1500 meters (4:23.05) and Jessica Pixler in the 5000 (15:44.07). Pixler is now No. 3 all-time in Division II at the distance and will eye the all-time leader of 15:38.54 set by Mandi Zemba of Grand Valley State in 2007.
Ashland is No. 5 while No. 6 Missouri Southern, No. 7 Saint Augustine’s, No. 8 Johnson C. Smith, No. 9 Fort Valley State, and No. 10 Chico State complete the nation’s top 10.
The CCAA has four squads in the nation’s top 25 while the GNAC and MIAA have three apiece.
About the Rankings
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NCAA Division II
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Rankings
2010 Week #1 – April 6
|10||Cal State LA||101.69||—|
|11||Johnson C. Smith||96.45||16|
|12||Albany State (Ga.)||91.96||22|
|13||UC San Diego||91.91||—|
|19||Cal Poly Pomona||63.04||—|
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Rankings
2010 Week #1 – April 6
|2||UC San Diego||203.97||3|
|8||Johnson C. Smith||119.13||10|
|9||Fort Valley State||111.11||14|
|14||Cal State Dominguez Hills||75.74||—|
|20||Cal State LA||49.19||7|