Arkansas Men, LSU Women on Top in Final Pre-Championships DI Rankings

Courtesy: Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

March 5, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS - The Arkansas men and LSU women will be the top teams in the nation heading into NCAA Championships weekend, according to the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Team Computer Rankings released Tuesday, though Arkansas finds itself in a much more comfortable position atop the rankings.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS INFO: National Championships Central
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These two top teams find themselves in drastically different situations. Arkansas’ team score of 241.43 is the largest total of any team entering the NCAA Championships – men or women – since the rankings began in 2008, and its 67.39-point lead over No. 2 Florida is the second-widest margin between No. 1 and No. 2 heading into the NCAA meet. Only Florida’s 78.61-point margin over No. 2 LSU in 2011 surpasses it.

LSU, on the other hand, holds just a slim 3.35-point lead on No. 2 Kansas – the second-smallest margin in the history of the women’s rankings. In 2009, No. 1 Texas A&M held a slight 2.98-point advantage in the rankings over No. 2 Tennessee, but the Volunteers overtook the Aggies at the Championships to claim the team title.

This is the final edition of the National Team Computer Rankings of the indoor season, with rankings determined solely on the NCAA Championships accepted entries released Monday evening. The NCAA Indoor Championships are set for March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.

ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 8 from 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET and March 9 from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET. Portions of the meet not available on ESPN3 can be viewed via ArkansasRazorbacks.com. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 17 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

LSU Leads Tight Race for No. 1 Spot

LSU is No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week with 163.99 team points, but the Tigers’ hold on the top spot has never been as tenuous as now with a little more than three points separating them from No. 2 Kansas with 160.64 team points. The Tigers will send 10 entries to the Championships, including reigning The Bowerman winner Kimberlyn Duncan at 200 meters (No. 1 seed) and 60 meters (No. 2 seed) and a the nation’s top two runners at 800 meters in Charlene Lipsey and Natoya Goule. LSU will be going for its first indoor team title since 2004, the last of a streak of three straight.

The Kansas Jayhawks, who finished runner-up at last season’s Indoor Championships to the Oregon Ducks, are in position to potentially overtake LSU and claim their first team title in track & field after moving up a spot to No. 2 in the final rankings of the season. With 12 entries in the championships field, Kansas is second to only Oregon and Texas in terms of representation, both of which have 13. Top-ranked long jumper and No. 2 triple jumper Andrea Geubelle and No. 2 long jumper Francine Simpson headline five entries in the jumps events -most of any team in the nation.

Fresh off an SEC team title two weekends ago, Arkansas moved up one spot will enter the weekend No. 3 at 135.22 team points with nine entries into the championships, sixth-most among women’s teams. Indoor pentathlon collegiate record holder Makeba Alcide and top sprinter at 400 meters Regina George will be key for the Razorbacks as they look for their first title in women’s track & field history.

Meanwhile, a title for No. 4 Oregon (134.40 team points) would be their fourth straight, a feat matched only by an LSU program that won five straight between 1993-97. Though only fourth in the rankings after dropping two spots, the Ducks will be represented by 13 entries at the Championships, tied for the most by any team with No. 7 Texas.

Texas A&M rounds out the top five women’s teams with 123.71 team points and 11 NCAA entries. The Aggies will be relying heavily on their nation-leading eight entries in the sprints events in their quest for their first indoor team title in program history.

Arkansas Enters NCAA Meet as Heavy Favorites

The Razorback men have not only opened up a nearly 70-point advantage over three-time defending indoor champ No. 2 Florida in the team score rankings, 241.43-174.04, but more importantly they have 19 entries in the Championship fields – eight more than the Gators. Arkansas has nine top-five caliber entries in eight events, including nation-leaders at 800 meters in Leoman Momoh and in the triple jump in Tarik Batchelor. A title would be the program’s first since 2006.

With 11 qualifiers for the NCAA meet the Gators have the second-most of any men’s team in their quest for a fourth-straight title, but find themselves at a numbers disadvantage to Arkansas’ 19 entries. Like Arkansas, Florida also has a pair of collegiate leaders in 60 hurdler Eddie Lovett and long jumper Marquis Dendy, and feature seven athletes within the top five seeds in six events.

Texas A&M (123.78), looking for its first indoor title, checked in at No. 3 in the final edition of the rankings with nine qualifiers. Seven of those entries come in the sprints and hurdles – most of any team in the nation – including the world leader at 400 meters, Deon Lendore.

Wisconsin (102.55) is the top non-SEC team in the rankings at No. 4 with nine NCAA qualifiers, including four in the distance events, tied with No. 9 Oklahoma State for most in the country. The Badgers also boast the top heptathlete in the field in Japheth Cato, looking for his third 6,000+ score of the season. Wisconsin last won an indoor team title in 2007.

No. 5 Oregon (84.87) will also bring nine entries to Fayetteville, including a nation-best five in the middle-distance events. The Ducks will look to claim its first team title since 2009.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)

2013 Week #7 — March 5 (pre-NCAA)

next ranking: none, NCAA Championships, March 8-9
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Arkansas 241.43 SEC Chris Bucknam (5th) 1
2 Florida 174.04 SEC Mike Holloway (11th) 2
3 Texas A&M 123.78 SEC Pat Henry (9th) 3
4 Wisconsin 102.55 Big Ten Ed Nuttycombe (29th) 4
5 Oregon 84.87 MPSF Robert Johnson (1st) 5
6 Florida State 73.47 ACC Bob Braman (10th) 14
7 Nebraska 65.45 Big Ten Gary Pepin (30th) 6
8 Virginia Tech 65.29 ACC Dave Cianelli (12th) 12
9 Oklahoma State 63.74 Big 12 Dave Smith (5th) 11
10 Penn State 60.00 Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (7th) 10
11 Texas Tech 58.39 Big 12 Wes Kittley (14th) 8
12 Arizona 55.62 MPSF Fred Harvey (11th) 15
13 Minnesota 53.96 Big Ten Steve Plasencia (5th) 18
14 Clemson 53.03 ACC Shawn Cobey (1st) 17
15 LSU 51.90 SEC Dennis Shaver (9th) 13
16 Arizona State 50.70 MPSF Greg Kraft (17th) 16
17 Texas 46.26 Big 12 Bubba Thornton (18th) 9
18 NC State 41.60 ACC Rollie Geiger (29th) 19
19 Indiana 41.13 Big Ten Ron Helmer (6th) 7
20 Tulsa 39.57 Conference USA Steve Gulley (11th) 22
21 Stanford 38.43 MPSF Chris Miltenberg (1st) 29
22 UT Arlington 37.53 WAC John Sauerhage (17th) 26
23 Mississippi 36.46 SEC Brian O’Neal (1st) 23
24 Auburn 35.58 SEC Ralph Spry (16th) 25
25 Kansas State 35.52 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (21st) 32
Dropped out: No. 20 Baylor, No. 21 Oklahoma, No. 24 Northern Arizona

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 749.95 6
2 Big Ten 491.72 5
3 MPSF 354.95 3
4 Big 12 349.21 5
5 ACC 216.39 4
6 Conference USA 75.27 1
7 WAC 74.16
8 Big East 59.58
9 Colonial 51.83
10 Mountain West 49.70

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)

2013 Week #7 — March 5 (pre-NCAA)

next ranking: none, NCAA Championships, March 8-9
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 LSU 163.99 SEC Dennis Shaver (9th) 1
2 Kansas 160.64 Big 12 Stanley Redwine (13th) 3
3 Arkansas 135.22 SEC Lance Harter (23rd) 4
4 Oregon 134.40 MPSF Robert Johnson (1st) 2
5 Texas A&M 123.71 SEC Pat Henry (9th) 6
6 Clemson 111.52 ACC Shawn Cobey (1st) 5
7 Texas 94.73 Big 12 Rose Brimmer (1st) 11
8 Georgia 83.26 SEC Wayne Norton (14th) 7
9 UCF 77.60 Conference USA Caryl Smith Gilbert (6th) 9
10 Illinois 76.19 Big Ten Tonja Buford-Bailey (5th) 8
11 Florida 75.34 SEC Mike Holloway (6th) 10
12 Iowa State 68.66 Big 12 Corey Ihmels (6th) 14
13 Arizona 66.23 MPSF Fred Harvey (11th) 13
14 Arizona State 65.08 MPSF Greg Kraft (17th) 12
15 South Carolina 62.36 SEC Curtis Frye (17th) 15
16 Indiana State 49.21 Missouri Valley Angie Martin (3rd) 18
17 Notre Dame 47.88 Big East Joe Piane (38th) 57
18 Florida State 40.09 ACC Bob Braman (10th) 17
19 Wichita State 38.37 Missouri Valley Steve Rainbolt (13th) 20
20 Kentucky 37.14 SEC Edrick Floreal (1st) 28
21 Dartmouth 35.41 Ivy Sandra Ford-Centonze (21st) 16
22 Oklahoma 34.33 Big 12 Martin Smith (8th) 23
23 Michigan 33.48 Big Ten James Henry (28th) 21
24 Georgetown 32.55 Big East Patrick Henner (6th) 26
25 Baylor 30.48 Big 12 Todd Harbour (8th) 22
Dropped out: No. 19 Stanford, No. 24 Boston Uninversity, No. 25 Mississippi State

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 751.47 7
2 Big 12 412.48 5
3 MPSF 412.43 4
4 ACC 283.99 2
5 Big Ten 212.83 2
6 Big East 147.98
7 Conference USA 135.14 1
8 Missouri Valley 111.07 2
9 Ivy 77.66 1
10 Mountain West 50.74