Findlay Men & New Mexico Highlands Women Enter NCAA DII Championships as Narrow Favorites

Findlay Men & New Mexico Highlands Women Enter NCAA DII Championships as Narrow Favorites

NEW ORLEANS – Heading into this weekend’s NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships March 13-14 in Birmingham, Alabama, there will be not one, but two new No. 1 teams.

The Findlay men and the New Mexico Highlands women both moved to the tops of their respective genders’ U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Team Computer Rankings with just days left until the national team titles are on the line at the CrossPlex in Birmingham.

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Findlay regained the top spot after having previously attained it in early February, while New Mexico Highlands is brand new to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. For the men, this is the sixth time the No. 1 position has changed hands – including between three teams from the GLIAC – while the women’s No. 1 has traded teams three times.

Though Findlay and NMHU are the top teams in the pre-NCAAs rankings, they are far from prohibitive favorites.

Using the rankings formula, which assigns more points to higher-seeded athletes and sums the totals of all of each teams’ athletes (it is not analogous to the NCAA points scoring system), the women’s race is projected to be ultra-tight.

New Mexico Highlands checked in with 162.93 points, just over seven ahead of both No. 2 Central Missouri (155.64) and No. 3 Ashland (155.46) – both of which have been ranked No. 1 for three weeks apiece earlier this season. Ashland dropped from the top spot it held in the rankings a week ago.

A title for any of these schools would be their first. Ashland has come the closest with a co-runner-up finish in 2010 behind Lincoln (Mo.) with GLIAC rival Grand Valley State. Central Missouri was third in 2009, while NMHU was sixth a year ago.

Speaking of GVSU, the lone remaining women’s team with more than 100 points were the Lakers with 116.45. GVSU last won national team indoor titles back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.

Findlay’s men checked in at 165.70, just 10 points ahead of No. 2 Grand Valley State (155.26) and less than 20 better than returning national runner-up No. 3 Adams State (148.70). Also still very much in the hunt is No. 4 Ashland, as the former No. 1 posted a team score of 134.22 this week.

NCAA Division II National Team Rankings Top 5 – Men

1)Findlay 2)GVSU 3)Adams State 4)Ashland 5)Minnesota St
Findlay Grand Valley St. Adams St.. Ashland Tiffin
View Complete Men’s National Coaches’ Poll


NCAA Division II National Team Rankings Top 5 – Women

1)Lincoln MO 2)Central Missouri 3)Ashland 4)GVSU 5)GVSU
NM Highlands Central Missouri Ashland Grand Valley St. Lincoln (Mo.)
View Complete Women’s National Coaches’ Poll

Neither Findlay, Grand Valley nor Ashland have ever won national indoor team titles, while Adams State won in 2010 and has finished runner-up four other times.

Findlay’s best finish was fourth in 2012, while Grand Valley finished fourth both in 2008 and 2013. Ashland has finished runner-up twice, in 2011 and 2013.

Two more men’s teams came in with totals higher than 100 points. Tiffin moved up a spot to No. 5 – giving the GLIAC four of the nation’s top five teams – with 115.45 points, while Colorado Mines dropped a spot to No. 6 with 104.12.

Two-time defending national champion Saint Augustine’s checked in at No. 7.

Breaking Down the Women’s Race

No women’s team has more entrants into the championships than No. 4 Grand Valley State with 16, compared to 12 for No. 3 Ashland; 11 apiece for No. 1 NMHU, No. 2 Central Missouri, and No. 9 defending national champion Adams State; and 10 for defending outdoor national champion No. 5 Lincoln (Mo.).

More than half of NMHU’s entries are in the sprints, hurdles and relays (seven), while Ashland is powered by its throws corps (eight entires) and Central Missouri has five in the jumps. Grand Valley has eight in the distance events and six in the jumps, while Adams State has four in the distance events and three in the sprints/hurdles.

What separates the top three teams from the rest of the field, however, are their abundances of top-ranked talent. NM Highlands, Central Missouri and Ashland all have 10 entries in the NCAA Championships fields ranked among top 10 seeds.

All three schools have a pair of Division II leaders. For New Mexico Highlands, it’s DII long jump record holder Shanice McPherson and pentathlon leader/all-around star Salcia Slack (more on her in a moment). Central Missouri has Erika Kinsey atop both the high jump and the triple jump, and Ashland has shot put leader Jamie Sindelar and weight throw leader Shatora Lewis.

Both NMHU and Ashland also have a pair of second seeds.

Central Missouri has all 10 of its top-10 seeds ranked among the top seven in their events, while New Mexico Highlands have all ten of their top-10 national performers ranked within each events’ top eight.

Moreso than any other team, New Mexico Highlands will be depending upon the performance of one athlete to buoy its national title hopes in Salcia Slack. Of those 10 top-10 entries for NMHU, Slack accounts for four plus a relay leg. In addition to being the top-ranked pentathlete, she is also No. 2 in the hurdles, No. 4 in the triple jump and No. 5 in the long jump.

Breaking Down the Men’s Race

Findlay may be the top-ranked team, but with 13 entries into the championships it is not the best-represented. That honor goes to No. 2 Grand Valley State with 15 entries, and the Oilers were also surpassed by Ashland with 14.

No. 3 Adams State has 10, as do No. 5 Tiffin, No. 6 Colorado Mines and No. 7 Saint Augustine’s – the two-time defending national champions.

The title will likely be determined by which team performs the best in the throwing events. Findlay has six of its 13 entries in the shot put or weight throw, while Ashland has an impressive nine men entered into those two events. Grand Valley State also has five, but the Lakers are also the most balanced of the three teams with multiple entrants in each of the broad disciplines of the sport: sprints/hurdles/relays, mid-distance/distance, jumps, and throws.

GVSU also has the edge in total entrants ranked among the top-10 seeds in their respective events. The Lakers have 12 such entrants, compared to 10 for Findlay, nine for Tiffin and eight for both Adams State and Ashland.

No team will be depending upon its top guns more than Adams State, which has four top-seeded entries – headlined by No. 1 miler and 5000-meter runner Matt Daniels, No. 1 3000-meter runner Kevin Batt and the No. 1distance medley relay – and another second seed. GVSU has three second seeds and another third-seeded entrant.

Findlay, Tiffin, Ashland, and No. 9 Minnesota State all have three entries seeded among the top-three in their respective events, including two top-seeds each for Findlay, Tiffin and Minnesota State.

Findlay is led by weight throw leader Justin Welch and shot put leader Taylor Miller; Tiffin is powered by top-ranked Lamar Hargrove at 200 meters and the No. 1 4×400 relay team; and Minnesota State has DII 60-meter hurdles record holder Myles Hunter and 60-meters leader Emmanuel Matadi.



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

2015 Week #7 — March 9 (pre-championships)

next ranking: final, NCAA Championships, March 13-14
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Findlay 165.70 GLIAC Marc Arce (27th) 2
2 Grand Valley State 155.26 GLIAC Jerry Baltes (16th) 3
3 Adams State 148.70 RMAC Rock Light (2nd) 1
4 Ashland 134.22 GLIAC Jud Logan (12th) 4
5 Tiffin 115.45 GLIAC Jeremy Croy (15th) 6
6 Colorado Mines 104.12 RMAC Matt Sparks (2nd) 5
7 Saint Augustine’s 91.22 CIAA George Williams (39th) 8
8 Central Missouri 89.96 MIAA Kirk Pedersen (19th)/Kip Janvrin (17th) 9
9 Minnesota State 84.72 NSIC Jim Dilling (2nd) 7
10 Western State 81.41 RMAC Chris Bradford (6th) 11
11 Pittsburg State 69.07 MIAA Russ Jewett (27th) 10
12 Texas A&M-Kingsville 68.01 Lone Star Ryan Dall (7th) 12
13 American International 63.15 Northeast-10 Leo Mayo (9th) 19
14 Missouri Southern 54.28 MIAA Bryan Schiding (2nd) 16
15 Texas A&M-Commerce 53.55 Lone Star Tom Dibbern (2nd) 15
16 Lewis 51.56 GLVC Dana Schwarting (10th) 18
17 Southern Indiana 50.67 GLVC Mike Hillyard (17th) 17
18 Emporia State 48.90 MIAA Steve Blocker (4th) 14
19 Black Hills State 46.85 RMAC Seth Mischke (4th) 23
20 Sioux Falls 45.14 NSIC Reid Ehrisman (3rd) 20
21 Academy of Art 43.82 PacWest Charles Ryan (5th) 24
22 Neb.-Kearney 43.18 MIAA Brady Bonsall (7th) 21
23 West Texas A&M 39.74 Lone Star Darren Flowers (6th) 22
24 Southern Connecticut 39.28 Northeast-10 John Wallin (5th) 25
25 Hillsdale 35.93 GLIAC Andrew Towne (1st) 26
dropped out: No. 13 CSU-Pueblo
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25


Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 GLIAC 649.78 5
2 RMAC 458.42 4
3 MIAA 358.82 5
4 Lone Star 164.90 3
5 NSIC 159.82 2
6 GLVC 130.64 2
7 Northeast-10 129.81 2
8 CIAA 110.84 1
9 GNAC 92.39
10 PacWest 65.10 1


Men’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points
Atlantic Shippensburg 545.92
Central Minnesota State 293.27
East American International 426.55
Midwest Grand Valley State 447.52
South Shorter 704.59
South Central Texas A&M-Commerce 367.66
Southeast Mount Olive 482.82
West Western Washington 395.45
View All Regional Rankings



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

2015 Week #7 — March 9 (pre-championships)

next ranking: final, NCAA Championships, March 13-14
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 New Mexico Highlands 162.93 RMAC Bob DeVries (23rd) 3
2 Central Missouri 155.64 MIAA Kirk Pedersen (19th)/Kip Janvrin (17th) 2
3 Ashland 155.46 GLIAC Jud Logan (12th) 1
4 Grand Valley State 116.45 GLIAC Jerry Baltes (16th) 4
5 Lincoln (Mo.) 97.94 MIAA Victor Thomas (14th) 6
6 Hillsdale 91.57 GLIAC Andrew Towne (4th) 5
7 New Haven 77.51 Northeast-10 Shaunnaya Williams (4th) 9
8 U-Mary 73.54 NSIC Mike Thorson (21st) 8
9 Adams State 72.90 RMAC Rock Light (2nd) 10
10 Southern Connecticut 71.82 Northeast-10 Melissa Stoll (3rd) 11
11 Pittsburg State 63.13 MIAA Russ Jewett (29th) 12
12 Minnesota Duluth 61.72 NSIC Joanna Warmington (4th) 20
13 Angelo State 57.49 Lone Star James Reid (16th) 14
14 Simon Fraser 57.28 GNAC Brit Townsend (15th) 7
15 Azusa Pacific 50.81 PacWest Preston Grey (1st) 23
16 Augustana (S.D.) 50.71 NSIC Tracy Hellman (15th) 17
17 Johnson C. Smith 49.32 CIAA Lennox Graham (8th) 13
18 Missouri Southern 43.92 MIAA Patty Vavra (21st) 32
19 Lewis 43.46 GLVC Dana Schwarting (10th) 16
20 Chadron State 43.29 RMAC Brad Gamble (1st) 22
21 West Texas A&M 42.72 Lone Star Darren Flowers (6th) 21
22 Colorado Mesa 40.29 RMAC Matt Canterbury (3rd) 30
23 Bellarmine 39.35 GLVC Jim Vargo (15th) 18
24 Saginaw Valley State 37.44 GLIAC Rod Cowan (6th) 24
25 Wayne State (Neb.) 36.27 NSIC Marlon Brink (15th) 25
dropped out: No. 15 Harding, No. 19 Livingstone
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25


Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 GLIAC 451.89 4
2 MIAA 385.76 4
3 RMAC 368.81 4
4 NSIC 342.18 4
5 Northeast-10 215.28 2
6 Lone Star 146.41 2
7 CIAA 138.35 1
8 GLVC 113.83 2
9 GNAC 109.93 1
10 PacWest 78.94 1


Women’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points
Atlantic Slippery Rock 302.93
Central Central Missouri 305.53
East Southern Connecticut 491.32
Midwest Grand Valley State 509.73
South Alabama-Huntsville 660.40
South Central Adams State 427.53
Southeast Queens (N.C.) 348.81
West Seattle Pacific 369.25
View All Regional Rankings


USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field

2015 Rankings Calendar
Weeks National TFRIRegional TFRIConfernce TFRI#EventSquad KEY DATES
PreseasonTue 1/6
Week 1Mon 1/26
Mon 1/26
Week 2Mon 2/2
Mon 2/2
Week 3Mon 2/9
Mon 2/9
Week 4Mon 2/16
Mon 2/16
Week 5Mon 2/23
Mon 2/23
Week 6Mon 3/2
Mon 3/2
Week 7Mon 3/9
FINAL ResultsSat 3/14
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts

MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years

MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years

MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years

MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years