Defending Champ Oregon Surges in NCAA DI Men’s Rankings
By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA
February 22, 2016
NEW ORLEANS – Spring’s not quite here yet, but the Ducks are starting to migrate north.
Behind a strong showing at the Millrose Games, two-time defending men’s NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field team champion Oregon jumped up four spots to No. 2 in the latest iteration of the National Team Computer Rankings announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The Ducks checked in with 112.39 points – a nearly 24-point improvement from a week ago behind collegiate leaders Edward Cheserek and Blake Haney – to move into formation behind top-ranked Arkansas (130.11 points).
LSU moved up one spot to No. 3 (98.55 points), while both Tennessee (97.07) and Texas A&M (84.44) fell two spots to No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
With only conference championships left to go for a majority of teams around the country, this upcoming weekend marks the conclusion of the regular season. Sunday is the last day to record NCAA Championships qualifying marks.
Next week’s rankings will include all regular-season performances, while the pre-NCAA Championships edition on March 7 will only take official meet entries into consideration.
Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M – along with No. 8 Georgia and No. 10 Florida – will all see each other this weekend at the SEC Championships at Arkansas, but don’t expect the results to hew exactly to today’s rankings.
These projections are applicable only to the NCAA Championships, to be held March 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama, and are not meant to predict order of finish in meets where full teams are going head-to-head. Points are determined by athletes’/relay teams’ positions on the TFRRS National Descending Order Lists, and do not correlate with the NCAA Championships scoring system.
Most of Oregon’s points came courtesy of Haney, who ran 3:56.36 in the Wanamaker Mile to take the NCAA lead over that distance.
Due to the rules of the rankings formula, Cheserek’s collegiate-leading 3000 – the second-fastest in NCAA history at 7:40.51 – only garnered several points for the Ducks. He is also ranked No. 1 at 5000 meters and No. 6 in the mile, but the regular-season rankings formula does not give credit for all three events since that triple is only very rarely attempted at the NCAA Championships.
Of course, Cheserek is the exception to most rules in collegiate distance running, meaning a possible triple at NCAAs is the big wild card in this scenario.
He’s not the only wild card for the Ducks, as 2015 NCAA Outdoor 400-meter runner-up Marcus Chambers is ranked only 15th through one race, and former NCAA/USATF Outdoor 110-meter hurdles champ Devon Allen is No. 11 in the 60 hurdles.
On the other end of the spectrum, Oregon’s status as defending national champions in the distance medley relay is in danger, with the Ducks currently ranked No. 13; only 12 squads make it to NCAAs.
It was a strong weekend for the Razorbacks on their home track, as well, as Marqueze Washington posted an NCAA leader at 400 meters to fuel a 15-point improvement from last time.
No. 3 LSU got a small boost from Cyril Grayson moving into qualifying position at 400 meters at No. 10, giving the Bayou Bengals two in the top-10 with second-ranked Michael Cherry.
Beyond the top five, all was steady – save a one-spot drop for No. 6 Texas. No. 7 Texas Tech, No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Southern California and No. 10 Florida all remained constant from a week ago.
No top-25 team made a bigger jump than No. 23 Virginia, which improved 13 spots from a week ago behind the No. 7 DMR.
No. 16 Oklahoma State improved eight spots with the nation’s fastest DMR, while both No. 12 Washington and No. 15 Purdue climbed seven positions from last week.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2016 Week #5 — February 22
|next ranking: February 29|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||Arkansas||130.11||SEC||Chris Bucknam (8th)||1|
|2||Oregon||112.39||MPSF||Robert Johnson (4th)||6|
|3||LSU||98.55||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||4|
|4||Tennessee||97.07||SEC||Beth Alford-Sullivan (2nd)||2|
|5||Texas A&M||84.44||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||3|
|6||Texas||83.28||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||5|
|7||Texas Tech||73.07||Big 12||Wes Kittley (17th)||7|
|8||Georgia||66.31||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||8|
|9||Southern California||63.50||MPSF||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||9|
|10||Florida||58.87||SEC||Mike Holloway (14th)||10|
|11||Virginia Tech||56.98||ACC||Dave Cianelli (15th)||12|
|12||Washington||55.20||MPSF||Greg Metcalf (14th)||19|
|13||Southeastern Louisiana||54.69||Southland||Sean Brady (14th)||13|
|14||Syracuse||51.87||ACC||Chris Fox (11th)||11|
|15||Purdue||49.78||Big Ten||Rolando Greene (4th)||22|
|16||Oklahoma State||47.58||Big 12||Dave Smith (8th)||24|
|17||Penn State||45.05||Big Ten||John Gondak (2nd)||14|
|18||NC State||41.78||ACC||Rollie Geiger (32nd)||18|
|19||Stanford||40.96||MPSF||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||16|
|20||Tulsa||38.83||American||Steve Gulley (14th)||21|
|21||Air Force||36.41||Mountain West||Ralph Lindeman (27th)||23|
|22||TCU||36.31||Big 12||Darryl Anderson (12th)||20|
|23||Virginia||35.33||ACC||Bryan Fetzer (5th)||36|
|24||Southern Illinois||35.07||Missouri Valley||Kathleen Raske (1st)||29|
|25||Minnesota||34.86||Big Ten||Steve Plasencia (8th)||28|
|Dropped out: No. 15 Georgetown, No. 17 Mississippi, No. 25 Houston|
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|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
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