Arkansas Women Fortify Top Spot in DI Rankings
By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA
January 25, 2016
NEW ORLEANS — It has been 10 days since the last National Team Computer Rankings for NCAA Division I Women’s Indoor Track & Field came out and a cursory glance shows not much changed when the first rankings of the regular season were released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each team in the preseason top-10 held its ground and No. 1 Arkansas, the defending national champion, strengthened its position at the top of the mountain thanks to the emergence of a freshman pole vaulter.
The National Team Computer Rankings are complied by a mathematical formula based on national descending order lists. 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.
High marks from the previous season are counted until the third poll of the regular season, which is scheduled to be released on February 8. After that date, only marks from the current season are included in the National Team Computer Rankings.
It should also be mentioned that the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings should not be referred to as a “poll,” as no voting occurs during the process.
The top-ranked Razorbacks put some distance between themselves and No. 2 Georgia thanks to Alexis Weeks. The freshman from Cabot, Arkansas, took over the national lead in the pole vault at the Arkansas Invitational on Jan. 15. Weeks cleared 4.50m (14-9) and is 5.5 inches better than her closest competitor on the National Descending Order List.
No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Kansas State were both buoyed by strong performances in the 10-day interim.
The Longhorns added depth in the sprints with freshman Teahna Daniels, who clocked a 7.26 in the 60 at the Texas A&M Team Invitational, tying teammate Morolake Akinosun.
Then there are the Wildcats, who saw Akela Jones break a school record and meet record in the pentathlon this past weekend. Jones narrowly missed a collegiate record as well, but had to settle for second all-time behind Georgia’s Kendell Williams.
Rounding out the top-10 are still No. 5 Oregon, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Southern California, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 9 Wisconsin (led by Kelsey Card, who is currently second nationally in the shot put) and No. 10 Georgetown.
Two teams that made the biggest jumps from the preseason were Tennessee (No. 32 to No. 12) and Alabama (No. 40 to No. 15). This is the Crimson Tide’s best ranking in school history and the Volunteers’ loftiest mark in the past four years.
Tennessee’s leap was aided by senior sprinter Felicia Brown, who scorched the field at the Conference Clash: Power 5 Invitational this past weekend. Brown registered a national-leading 22.88 in the 200, edging teammate Kali Davis-White in the process (Davis-White ran 23.23).
And what about Bowerman Watch List candidate Quanesha Burks of Alabama? Her leap of 6.71m (22-1/4) put her on top of the NDOL in the long jump, broke a school record and has her just outside of the all-time top-10 in the event.
Outside of the Crimson Tide and Volunteers, there weren’t many new additions to the top-25 other than Akron. The Zips went from No. 34 to No. 25, allowing them to get back into the mix for the third consecutive year.
We should start to see some more movement in these rankings in the next few weeks as the indoor track & field season heats up.
The NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held March 11-12 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama.
Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2016 Week #1 — January 25
|next ranking: February 1|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||Arkansas||190.11||SEC||Lance Harter (26th)||1|
|2||Georgia||158.81||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||2|
|3||Texas||123.53||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||3|
|4||Kansas State||115.12||Big 12||Cliff Rovelto (24th)||4|
|5||Oregon||107.31||MPSF||Robert Johnson (4th)||5|
|6||Florida||97.11||SEC||Mike Holloway (9th)||6|
|7||Southern California||87.09||MPSF||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||7|
|8||Kentucky||83.39||SEC||Edrick Floreal (4th)||8|
|9||Wisconsin||76.67||Big Ten||Mick Byrne (3rd)||9|
|10||Georgetown||70.39||Big East||Michael Smith (1st)||10|
|11||Baylor||68.48||Big 12||Todd Harbour (11th)||11|
|12||Tennessee||65.75||SEC||Beth Alford-Sullivan (2nd)||32|
|13||Michigan||63.54||Big Ten||James Henry (31st)||14|
|14||Stanford||63.25||MPSF||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||13|
|15||Alabama||59.70||SEC||Dan Waters (5th)||40|
|16||Miami (Fla.)||54.63||ACC||Amy Deem (26th)||17|
|17||Duke||54.23||ACC||Norm Ogilvie (13th)||16|
|18||LSU||50.30||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||12|
|19||NC State||49.40||ACC||Rollie Geiger (32nd)||15|
|20||Texas A&M||43.11||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||21|
|21||Michigan State||42.84||Big Ten||Walt Drenth (10th)||19|
|22||Notre Dame||41.74||ACC||Alan Turner (2nd)||20|
|23||Boston College||39.34||ACC||Randy Thomas (21st)||24|
|24||Washington||37.06||MPSF||Greg Metcalf (14th)||18|
|25||Akron||35.96||Mid-American||Dennis Mitchell (21st)||34|
|Dropped out: No. 22 Clemson, No. 23 Kent State, No. 25 Mississippi|
|View All Teams Beyond the Top 25|
|Women’s Conference Index Top 10|
|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
|Women’s Regional Index Leaders|
|View All Regional Rankings|