Close Division I National Team Title Battles Await Pre-Meet Favorites Oregon Men & Texas Women

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

June 3, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – For a sport in which measurements down to fractions of a second or a single centimeter can make all the difference, the three-day East and West Preliminaries provided an eternity for things to change in the Division I Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings.

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And change, they most certainly did, with Tuesday’s announcement of the final set of rankings by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) based only on entries into the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., from June 11-14, at Hayward Field.

The men of Oregon stormed to the No. 1 spot in the country while displacing 2013 national co-champions No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Texas A&M in a suddenly compact race for the team title.

Meanwhile, the No. 1 Texas women emerged from what had been a tight race for the women’s crown entering the weekend as a clearer favorite over in-state rival and new No. 2 Texas A&M. No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Kentucky all also remained firmly in the hunt.

With both Oregon teams in contention, the Ducks could become the first program to sweep the four combined indoor and outdoor titles between both genders. The indoor and outdoor championships were both contested in the same academic year for both genders in 1983.

The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race.

Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. A full description of the rankings can be found here.

MEN

Men’s Top Five

1)Oregon 2)Florida 3)Texas AM 4)Arkansas 5)Texas
Oregon
386.64 pts
Florida
364.79 pts
Texas A&M
335.04 pts
Arkansas
220.26 pts
Texas
171.84 pts
View Complete Men’s Rankings

By far the biggest move of the weekend, however, belonged to the Oregon men, who will migrate back home to Eugene as the narrow pre-meet favorites over the Florida Gators.

The Ducks improved their team rankings score by nearly 130 points to check in at 386.64 points, a little more than 20 ahead of Florida (364.79) and 50 clear of Texas A&M (335.04).

Oregon benefited particularly from distance runners around the country sorting themselves from a wide swath of events into only those in which they will compete at NCAAs. The 10,000 meters trio of Edward Cheserek, Parker Stinson and Trevor Dunbar all moved into the top 10, while the 5000 meters trio of Eric Jenkins, Stinson and Cheserek moved up into the top 15 based on seed time.

The 110-meter hurdles were another area of strength for Oregon has frosh Devon Allen moved to No. 3 on the qualifying list – and into a tie at No. 9 all-time – in 13.27 and Johnathan Cabral moved up to No. 8.

Oregon enters the NCAAs as the overall leader in entries with a well-rounded 21 entries (from 36 who competed at the West Prelims), being the only men’s team with competitors in all of the disciplines: sprints/hurdles, mid-distance, distance, relays, jumps, throws, and combined events.

The Ducks are also atop the list of entries into the Championships ranked among the top 10 with 15, while Florida and Texas A&M have 14 and 10, respectively. All three have five ranked within the top three, though Florida has four top seeds to TAMU’s one and Oregon’s zero.

Something of an antithesis to Oregon this weekend was No. 2 Florida. The Gators left the East Prelims relatively unscathed with 16 of their 19 competitors advancing from Jacksonville, Fla., to Eugene. While Oregon improved by nearly 130 points, the Gators saw their team score fall by less than a quarter of a point.

Florida enters with top seeds in Dedric Dukes (200 meters), Marquis Dendy (triple jump), and both relays.

At No. 3, Texas A&M finds itself in somewhat unfamiliar territory: the Aggies have been No. 1 entering the NCAA Championships in each of the past five seasons, winning titles in four of them.

Top seeded Deon Lendore leads four qualifiers for the Aggies at 400 meters, including new No. 5 seed Bralon Taplin, who finished ahead of Lendore at the West Prelims. More than two-thirds of A&M’s 28 entries into the Prelims advanced to the Championships with 19 total.

Rounding out the top five were No. 4 Arkansas (220.26 team score, 15 entries) and No. 5 Texas (171.84, 12 entries), which moved up two positions from a week ago.

The Longhorns were just able to stay ahead of No. 6 LSU (169.38, 10 entries).

A number of teams moved up double-digit positions, led by No. 23 Minnesota (up 20). Others included No. 10 Nebraska (up 13), No. 14 Florida State (up 17), No. 18 Kansas State (up 10) and No. 24 Stephen F. Austin (up 13).

WOMEN

Women’s Top Five

1)Texas 2)Texas AM 3)Oregon 4)Florida 5)Kentucky
Texas
383.85 pts
Texas A&M
341.07 pts
Oregon 325.42 pts Florida
311.14 pts
Kentucky
270.18 pts
View Complete Women’s Rankings

Much like the Florida men, the Texas women advanced nearly all of their entries from the West Prelims into the NCAA Championships and remained steady in terms of team rankings score. Unlike the Gators, however, the Longhorns were able to keep their grip on the No. 1 spot in the rankings.

Of their 19 entries this past weekend at the Prelims, 16 advanced to the Championships for Texas (383.85), which stayed at the head of a tight pack that includes new No. 2 Texas A&M (341.07), No. 3 Oregon (325.42), No. 4 Florida (311.14) and No. 5 Kentucky (270.18).

That total of 16 puts them in a four-way tie for the second-most overall entries into the Championships with – who else? – Texas A&M and Kentucky, along with No. 7 Arkansas. Oregon topped the list with 20 entries.

Two-time defending 400 meters champion Ashley Spencer may have led the Longhorns in her signature event this weekend to move up to No. 4 in the nation this year, she finds herself behind three of her Longhorns teammates.

Collegiate record-holder Courtney Okolo, frosh Kendal Baisden, Briana Nelson and Spencer are No. 1 through No. 4 this year, and all four combine for the top-ranked 4×400 relay team in the nation.

Those four are among the Longhorns’ nation-leading totals in top-three seeds into the meet (seven) and top-10 seeds (13). Texas A&M and Florida both have 11 entries apiece ranked in the top 10, while Oregon has 10 and Kentucky eight. Texas A&M is also just one behind in terms of top-three seeds with six, while both Oregon and Florida have five each.

Texas is in good position as in four of the past six years – excluding a vacated 2012 title by LSU – the favorite in the final edition of the rankings has gone on to win the team title.

With only 13 of its 24 entries at the East Prelims qualifying to the NCAA’s final rounds combined with other teams’ strong Prelims performances, the Florida Gators (311.14 team rankings score) were the hardest-hit team in this week’s top five with a nearly 41-point tumble from last week to drop two spots.

Moving up to fill that void at No. 2 as one of those teams that had a strong weekend was Texas A&M (341.07), which improved its team score by nearly 12 points. Kamaria Brown moved up to No. 3 at 200 meters to drive the improvement, giving A&M three in the top seven at 200 meters in No. 1 Olivia Ekpone, Brown and No. 7 Ashton Purvis.

No. 3 Oregon saw its team score fall by nearly 20 points, Florida by more than 40 and No. 5 Kentucky (270.18) by just four to round out the top five.

Making the biggest moves of the final edition of the rankings were No. 19 Miami (Fla.) (up 16), No. 20 Akron (up 14), and No. 17 Alabama (up 10).

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2014 Week #9 — June 3 (pre-NCAA finals)

next ranking: none, NCAA Championships (FINAL)
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Oregon 386.64 Pac-12 Robert Johnson (2nd) 3
2 Florida 364.79 SEC Mike Holloway (12th) 1
3 Texas A&M 335.04 SEC Pat Henry (10th) 2
4 Arkansas 220.26 SEC Chris Bucknam (6th) 4
5 Texas 171.84 Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st) 7
6 LSU 169.38 SEC Dennis Shaver (10th) 9
7 Georgia 161.58 SEC Wayne Norton (15th) 6
8 Oklahoma State 158.45 Big 12 Dave Smith (6th) 8
9 Texas Tech 143.06 Big 12 Wes Kittley (15th) 5
10 Nebraska 135.96 Big Ten Gary Pepin (31st) 23
11 Alabama 111.04 SEC Dan Waters (3rd) 13
12 Arizona 109.68 Pac-12 Fred Harvey (12th) 20
13 Southern California 109.25 Pac-12 Caryl Smith Gilbert (1st) 14
14 Florida State 104.48 ACC Bob Braman (11th) 31
15 Baylor 101.93 Big 12 Todd Harbour (9th) 15
16 Wisconsin 98.60 Big Ten Mick Byrne (1st) 12
17 Kentucky 98.33 SEC Edrick Floreal (2nd) 19
18 Kansas State 88.36 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (22nd) 28
19 Penn State 85.36 Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (8th) 17
20 Pittsburgh 81.94 ACC Alonzo Webb (12th) 26
21 Mississippi 72.32 SEC Brian O’Neal (2nd) 11
22 New Mexico 72.00 Mountain West Joe Franklin (7th) 25
23 Minnesota 71.87 Big Ten Steve Plasencia (6th) 43
24 Stephen F. Austin 71.06 Southland Phil Olson (14th) 37
25 UCLA 69.20 Pac-12 Mike Maynard (5th) 22
dropped out: No. 10 BYU, No. 16 Illinois, No. 18 Tennessee, No. 21 Stanford, No. 24 Auburn
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 1750.51 8
2 Pac-12 957.74 4
3 Big 12 786.52 5
4 Big Ten 632.95 4
5 ACC 480.81 2
6 Conference USA 291.70
7 Ivy 183.39
8 Mid-American 181.99
9 Sun Belt 174.48
10 Mountain West 141.26 1

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2014 Week #9 — June 3 (pre-NCAA finals)

next ranking: none, NCAA Championships (FINAL)
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Texas 383.85 Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st) 1
2 Texas A&M 341.07 SEC Pat Henry (10th) 4
3 Oregon 325.42 Pac-12 Robert Johnson (2nd) 3
4 Florida 311.14 SEC Mike Holloway (7th) 2
5 Kentucky 270.18 SEC Edrick Floreal (2nd) 5
6 Georgia 226.49 SEC Wayne Norton (15th) 7
7 Arkansas 205.12 SEC Lance Harter (24th) 8
8 LSU 167.01 SEC Dennis Shaver (10th) 6
9 Florida State 156.85 ACC Bob Braman (11th) 11
10 Stanford 149.20 Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (2nd) 10
11 Penn State 135.77 Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (15th) 16
12 Baylor 131.03 Big 12 Todd Harbour (9th) 12
13 Southern California 120.41 Pac-12 Caryl Smith Gilbert (1st) 9
14 Kansas 98.65 Big 12 Stanley Redwine (14th) 13
15 Texas Tech 95.68 Big 12 Wes Kittley (15th) 15
16 San Diego State 94.79 Mountain West Shelia Burrell (5th) 18
17 Alabama 93.76 SEC Dan Waters (3rd) 27
18 Missouri 92.12 SEC Brett Halter (4th) 17
19 Miami (Fla.) 89.00 ACC Amy Deem (24th) 35
20 Akron 85.73 Mid-American Dennis Mitchell (19th) 34
21 Boise State 85.27 Mountain West Corey Ihmels (1st) 19
22 Virginia Tech 83.65 ACC Dave Cianelli (13th) 23
23 Arizona 79.59 Pac-12 Fred Harvey (12th) 14
24 Kansas State 76.04 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (22nd) 28
25 UAB 69.31 Conference USA Kurt Thomas (4th) 33
droppped out: No. 20 Michigan, No. 21 Arizona State, No. 22 NC State, No. 24 Kent State, No. 25 Oklahoma
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 1854.53 8
2 Big 12 967.00 5
3 Pac-12 929.69 4
4 ACC 609.75 3
5 Big Ten 510.84 1
6 Mid-American 249.84 1
7 Mountain West 240.90 2
8 Conference USA 238.16 1
9 Ivy 178.07
10 Big East 124.48