North Central (Ill.) Men, Wartburg Women Start DIII Outdoor Season No. 1

Courtesy: Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

March 26, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – North Central (Ill.)’s men and Wartburg’s women open the 2013 outdoor season as the preseason favorites to claim the DIII team crown, according to the preseason edition of the National Team Computer Rankings released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

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Preseason computer rankings are compiled using performance data from both the current 2013 outdoor season and the 2012 season. Past-season data will be used in conjunction with current data through the early part of the season in calculating team scores. The scoring system is explained in more detail here.

Rankings Project Tight Race Between North Central and Top Four

Just as during the indoor season, the outdoor preseason rankings project a dogfight for the top spot between No. 1 North Central (Ill.) with 176.25 team points and a trio of teams from Wisconsin: No. 2 UW-Oshkosh (170.15 team points), No. 3 UW-Whitewater (150.62) and indoor champ No. 4 UW-La Crosse (147.68). Out of the equation is defending champ McMurry, which claimed the 2012 title just before making its current transition from Division III to Division II.

The Cardinals of North Central have claimed two of the past three outdoor team titles dating back to consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011, but finished fifth in 2012. Back-to-back outdoor pole vault champ senior Peter Geraghty is the top-ranked pole vaulter among 2012 returners and early 2013 performers, leading a group of four vaulters in the top seven with fellow seniors Josh Winder, Thomas Stacey and Frank Wleklinski; and eight total top 10 performers.

UW-Oshkosh finished runner-up during the indoor campaign, and finds itself back at No. 2 to open the outdoor season. The Titans, who finished fourth at outdoor NCAAs a year ago, return 11 performers in the top 10 of their respective events, including defending hammer throw champ senior Pete Delzer and top ranked shot putter senior Nick Baatz, also ranked No. 2 in the discus.

At No. 3, UW-Whitewater is ranked its highest in program history behind eight top-10 ranked performers.

This season’s indoor champion UW-La Crosse finished runner-up in each of the past two seasons, and begins the outdoor campaign No. 4. Senior Aric Hoeschen is the top-ranked runner at 400 meters, and senior Isaac Vazquez is the defending outdoor long jump champ.

Whitworth (111.23) completes the top five behind the strength of its throwers corps led by defending discus champ Carter Comito. Six Whitworth throwers are in the top seven of their events.

Defending Champ Wartburg Projected as the Favorite over Indoor Champion UW-Oshkosh

Wartburg’s 2012 outdoor title was an exercise in dominance with a cumulative team score of 129 -the highest ever under the current scoring system – that more than doubled that of runner-up UW-Oshkosh (52) and nearly tripled third-place Mount Union’s 34. Wartburg finds itself in that familiar position to open the 2013 outdoor campaign, as the computer rankings have projected the Knights No. 1 with 229.41 team points, well ahead of No. 2 UW-Oshkosh with 153.67.

A second-straight title for Wartburg would make it the first school to win in consecutive years since UW-Oshkosh in 2006-07. The Knights have the significant firepower needed to make a run at the title, as they return 13 performers that rank among the top 10 returners from 2012 and the early part of 2013 outdoors in their respective events, including the defending outdoor champ at both 5000 and 10,000 meters in sophomore Alana Enabnit. Junior Tashina McAllister is the preseason No. 2 in the 400 hurdles and is No. 4 in the 100 hurdles to add another multiple-event threat.

UW-Oshkosh has either won or finished runner-up at eight of the past nine DIII Outdoor Championships, most recently winning in 2011. Another run at a top-tier finish will be led by senior distance runner Christy Cazzola, who is coming off arguably the best season by a distance runner in indoor DIII history, and senior thrower Breanna Strupp. Cazzola, the defending outdoor champ at 1500 meters, set three individual DIII indoor collegiate records (800, mile, 5000) this season and was a member of the division’s all-time fastest DMR squad. Strupp is the defending shot put champ and is also ranked No. 1 in the discus and No. 4 in the hammer throw among returners.

Williams (113.29) will begin the season at No. 3, tied for an all-time program high, with six returners ranked among the top 10 in their respective events. The Ephs have a pair of triple-threats in  Tanasia Hoffler, ranked No. 3 in the triple jump, No. 6 in the long jump and No. 13 in the 100 hurdles; and junior thrower Amina Avril, ranked No. 2 in the hammer, No. 4 in the discus and No. 16 in the shot put.

Illinois Wesleyan (101.76) is ranked No. 4, while George Fox rounds out the top five with an all-time program high ranking at No. 5.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

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

2013 Preseason — March 26

next ranking: Wed., April 3
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2012 FINAL
1 North Central (Ill.) 176.25 CCIW Frank Gramarosso (3rd) 5
2 UW-Oshkosh 170.15 WIAC Eamon McKenna (1st) 4
3 UW-Whitewater 150.62 WIAC Mike Johnson (4th) 12
4 UW-La Crosse 147.68 WIAC Josh Buchholtz (5th) 2
5 Whitworth 111.23 Northwest Toby Schwarz (17th) 15
6 UW-Eau Claire 97.18 WIAC Chip Schneider (11th) 6
7 Augustana (Ill.) 89.48 CCIW Paul Olsen (44th) 7
8 Haverford 81.90 Centennial Tom Donnelly (38th) 18
9 Bates 77.45 NESCAC Al Fereshetian (18th) 22
10 UW-Stout 72.31 WIAC Laura Knudsen (5th) 3
11 Rowan 67.08 NJAC Bill Fritz (19th) 8
12 UW-Stevens Point 65.98 WIAC Rick Witt (34th) 22
13 La Verne 59.89 SCIAC Pat Widolff (21st) 9
14 Wartburg 57.48 IIAC Marcus Newsom (15th) 20
15 UW-Platteville 57.19 WIAC Chris Rotzenberg (1st) 32
16 SUNY Oneonta 56.65 SUNYAC Matt LoPiccolo (9th) 12
17 Baldwin-Wallace 53.77 OAC Bill Taraschke (28th) 68
18 Calvin 53.07 MIAA Bret Otte (4th) 18
19 Wabash 52.72 NCAC Clyde Morgan (5th) 16
20 UW-River Falls 51.13 WIAC Aaron Decker (3rd) 22
21 Whittier 49.42 SCIAC Dave Hogan (6th) 48
22 Ramapo 48.39 NJAC Mike Jackson (9th) 29
23 Central (Iowa) 44.12 IIAC Joe Dunham (5th) 9
24 Rutgers-Camden 42.51 NJAC Joe Puleo (10th) 26
25 Defiance 41.25 HCAC John Hartpence (6th) 41

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 WIAC 812.29 8
2 CCIW 339.35 2
3 NESCAC 252.02 1
4 SCIAC 207.19 2
5 OAC 207.18 1
6 NJAC 180.96 3
7 Northwest Conference 153.32 1
8 IIAC 124.10 2
9 NCAC 119.55 1
10 Midwest Conference 112.13

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

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

2013 Preseason — March 26

next ranking: Wed., April 3
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2012 FINAL
1 Wartburg 229.41 IIAC Marcus Newsom (15th) 1
2 UW-Oshkosh 153.67 WIAC Drew Ludtke (1st)/Ben Dorsey (1st) 2
3 Williams 113.29 NESCAC Peter Farwell (15th)/Dick Farley (15th) 5
4 Illinois Wesleyan 101.76 CCIW Chris Schumacher (16th) 9
5 George Fox 98.24 Northwest Conference John Smith (7th) 15
6 UW-La Crosse 80.93 WIAC Pat Healy (22nd) 73
7 Ramapo 78.29 NJAC Mike Jackson (9th) 12
8 Illinois College 75.15 Midwest Conference Rachel Rohn (3rd) 8
9 Birmingham-Southern 73.80 SAA Kenneth Cox (4th) 6
10 St. Thomas (Minn.) 72.72 MIAC Joe Sweeney (33rd) 28
11 Monmouth (Ill.) 72.00 Midwest Conference Roger Haynes (13th) 40
12 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 71.97 SCIAC Kendra Reimer (3rd) NR
13 Methodist 70.45 USA South Roland Whiting (1st) 4
14 Tufts 67.89 NESCAC Kristen Morwick (13th) 10
15 Calvin 62.04 Michigan Intercollegiate Bret Otte (4th) 48
16 Mount Union 61.48 OAC Kevin Lucas (3rd) 3
17 Middlebury 56.68 NESCAC Martin Beatty (25th) 15
18 Emory 49.94 UAA John Curtin (28th) 18
19 Washington (Mo.) 48.72 UAA Jeff Stiles (12th) 6
20 MIT 46.79 NEWMAC Halston Taylor (6th) 26
21 Millikin 45.99 CCIW Dirk Doehring (2nd) NR
22 Baldwin-Wallace 43.23 OAC Bill Taraschke (28th) NR
23 La Verne 42.69 SCIAC Pat Widolff (21st) NR
24 Texas Lutheran 42.03 ASC Darlene Holland (1st) 40
25 Concordia Moorhead 39.59 MIAC Marv Roeske (18th) 48

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 WIAC 421.20 2
2 NESCAC 288.55 3
3 IIAC 268.98 1
4 MIAC 232.85 2
5 CCIW 219.23 2
6 OAC 187.22 2
7 SCIAC 164.54 2
8 Midwest Conference 162.02 2
9 Northwest Conference 157.95 1
10 NJAC 145.24 1