Iowa Central Men, New Mexico JC Women Enter NJCAA Championships as Favorites

NEW ORLEANS – On the eve of the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Iowa Central CC men and New Mexico JC women have been named pre-meet favorites in the National Team Computer Rankings announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

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Both Iowa Central and NMJC are favorites in their races this Friday and Saturday (which will be streamed live on Flotrack Pro), but that’s where the similarities in their respective title chases end.

The Tritons, as they have been all season long, are overwhelming favorites for the men’s crown over defending national champion South Plains, but the Thunderbird women are projected in a far tougher fight.  

Still very much within striking distance are the 2014 national champion Iowa Central women, Central Arizona, defending national champion South Plains, and Monroe.

The USTFCCCA National Rankings are generated using the official qualifying lists into the NJCAA Championships, based on the top-16 entries in each event. Athletes and relay teams are assigned more points based on how highly they are ranked in their respective event(s). Each team is assigned a team score based on the sum of its athletes’ point totals.

The National Rankings formula is not equivalent to the NJCAA Championships scoring system.

See the full rankings below.

Men’s Team Race

Iowa Central CC checked in with 464.08 points (based only on championship entries seeded within the top 16 nationally), while South Plains came in at 310.62 points. No. 3 Butler (Kan) CC (232.97), No. 4 Central Arizona (231.91) and No. 5 Iowa Western CC (207.96) are projected in a tight battle with one another to round out the top five.

Iowa Central’s advantage is based on both the quantity and quality of its championship entries. The Tritons’ 35 athletes seeded top-16 nationally is approached only by South Plains’ 28. Incidentally, 28 is the number of athletes the Tritons have ranked top-10 nationally, with 11 of them ranked first (three), second (five) or third (three).

South Plains will field eight top-three-seeded entries. No. 4 Central Arizona enters with the greatest total of No. 1 seeds with four.

The sprints and hurdles will be a battleground for team podium positioning as No. 1 Iowa Central, No. 2 South Plains, No. 3 Butler CC, No. 6 Western Texas, No. 7 Barton County CC, No. 8 Hinds CC, and No. 11 Meridian CC all have five or more entries in those events (not including relays).

Third-ranked Butler CC is especially hoping for a good weekend in this category with 10 of its 21 entries coming in the sprints or hurdles.

Same goes for the jumps, with Iowa Central, South Plains, Iowa Western, Barton County, Butler, No. 9 Coffeyville and No. 17 Cloud County CC all with five or more jumpers entered in the meet.

The Tritons could separate themselves in the mid-distance, distance and throws events – in all of which they either lead or co-lead the nation in total entries.

South Plains, Central Arizona, and No. 10 Gillette will look to gain some ground in the mid-distance/distance events, while Iowa Western, Barton County and Coffeyville can make a dent in the Tritons’ dominance in the throws.

Women’s Team Race

New Mexico JC remains the favorite in the computer rankings, but a victory won’t be easy to come by. With 342.81 points in the final run of the computer data (based only on championship entries seeded within the top 16 nationally), the Thunderbirds hold a slim 14-point advantage over No. 2 Iowa Central at 328.54 – a margin more than 10 times narrower than the men’s race.

ICCC moved up one spot in the standings from a week ago, followed by two-position improver No. 3 Central Arizona (288.63) and defending national champion No. 4 South Plains (285.02), which dropped two spots from last time. Monroe (266.55) rounded out the top five, with No. 6 Barton County CC (225.86) not much farther behind.

In stark contrast to the men’s team title chase, very little distinguishes the top contenders in terms of the quality or quantity of their entries seeded among the top-16.

Both New Mexico JC and Iowa Central enter with 28 apiece, followed by South Plains with 26, Monroe with 20 and Central Arizona with 19.

The Thunderbirds have the most balanced approach with entries in all seven of the disciplines considered by the USTFCCCA Field Breakdown (sprints/hurdles, mid-distance, distance, relays, jumps, throws, combined events), while ICCC is disproportionately depending on its 11 sprint/hurdles entries (tied for most in the county for that category with South Plains).

While Iowa Central and South Plains will look to score crucial victories over one another in the sprints, that won’t be the only battlefield discipline.

NMJC and South Plains will duel with eight jumps entries apiece; Iowa Central and Central Arizona will tussle in the throws with six and five entries in those events, respectively; and the mid-distance/distance events will be up for grabs with a combined five entries each in those events from Iowa Central, New Mexico JC, Monroe and Central Arizona.

NMJC brings the most firepower to the meet with 22 entries ranked top-10 nationally, followed by 19 apiece from Iowa Central and South Plains, and 17 from Central Arizona.

Very little distinguishes the top six teams in the nation in terms of top-three athletes, however. Iowa Central and Central Arizona both have nine entries seeded No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3, followed by eight from NMJC and seven each from South Plains, Monroe and Barton County.

Monroe will be hoping their five top-seeded entries will come through for them. NMJC and Central Arizona have four top seeds apiece, while Iowa Central has three. South Plains has the most room for growth, coming into the Championships with no athletes seeded No. 1 in their respective events.

USTFCCCA NJCAA

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

2015 Week #6 — March 3 (pre-championships)

next ranking: FINAL, NJCAA Championships, March 4-5, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Rank School Points Region Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Iowa Central CC 464.08 Midwest Denny Myers (7th) 1
2 South Plains 310.62 West Chris Beene (12th) 2
3 Butler (Kan.) CC 232.97 Central Ryan Turner (2nd) 3
4 Central Arizona 231.91 West Tony Dougherty (16th) 5
5 Iowa Western CC 207.96 Midwest Emmett Statzer (9th) 4
6 Western Texas 172.83 West James Williams (4th) 6
7 Barton County CC 161.93 Central David Schenek (7th) 7
8 Hinds CC 135.65 Central Reginald Dillon (15th) 8
9 Coffeyville CC 125.84 Central Craig Perry (9th) 9
10 Gillette 94.53 West Chris Kozlowski (8th) 10
11 Meridian CC 91.28 Central Chip Gayden (3rd) 12
12 Monroe 88.22 Atlantic Lesleigh Hogg (2nd) 11
13 Mesa CC 87.24 West Steve Jacobs (28th) 13
14 Allen CC 71.04 Central Vince DeGrado (5th) 16
15 Johnson County CC 68.79 Central Mike Bloemker (8th) 17
16 Pima CC 66.55 West Greg Wenneborg (11th) 20
17 Cloud County CC 62.13 Central Harry Kitchener (39th) 14
18 Vincennes 61.88 Midwest Chris Gafner (11th) 15
19 Macomb CC 49.61 Midwest Kim Renas (3rd) 19
20 Glendale (Ariz.) CC 38.01 West Delawn Leggett (4th) 28
21 Louisburg 36.76 Atlantic Jay Koloseus (1st) 25
22 Cowley County CC 35.81 Central Mark Phillips (12th) 18
23 Hutchinson CC 29.98 Central Pat Becher (31st) 24
24 Essex County (N.J.) 28.83 Atlantic 23
25 Colby (Kan.) CC 26.63 Central James Ortiz (7th) 22
Dropped out: No. 21 Paradise Valley CC
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Men’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points Last Week
Atlantic Monroe 540.59 1
Central Butler (Kan.) CC 464.62 1
Midwest Iowa Central CC 960.51 1
West South Plains 672.27 1
View All Regional Rankings

 

USTFCCCA NJCAA

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

2015 Week #6 — March 3 (pre-championships)

next ranking: FINAL, NJCAA Championships, March 4-5, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Rank School Points Region Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 New Mexico JC 342.81 West Keith Blackwill (11th) 1
2 Iowa Central CC 328.54 Midwest Denny Myers (7th) 3
3 Central Arizona 288.63 West Tony Dougherty (16th) 5
4 South Plains 285.02 West Chris Beene (12th) 2
5 Monroe 266.55 Atlantic Lesleigh Hogg (2nd) 4
6 Barton County CC 225.86 Central David Schenek (7th) 6
7 Coffeyville CC 148.69 Central Craig Perry (9th) 7
8 Butler (Kan.) CC 127.70 Central Ryan Turner (2nd) 9
9 Iowa Western CC 119.91 Midwest Emmett Statzer (9th) 8
10 Vincennes 114.13 Midwest Chris Gafner (11th) 10
11 Mesa CC 95.10 West Steve Jacobs (28th) 11
12 Western Texas 89.86 West James Williams (4th) 12
13 Gillette 87.30 West Chris Kozlowski (8th) 19
14 Pima CC 82.75 West Greg Wenneborg (11th) 14
15 Johnson County CC 64.53 Central Mike Bloemker (8th) 15
16 Dodge City CC 60.91 Central Cole Ballard (8th) 17
17 Paradise Valley CC 55.96 West Dave Barney (20th) 13
18 Cuyahoga CC 50.05 Midwest Don Cox (24th) 18
19 Cloud County CC 47.48 Central Ted Schmitz (35th) 16
20 Macomb CC 33.03 Midwest Kim Renas (3rd) 20
21 Cowley County CC 31.58 Central Mark Phillips (12th) 21
22 Meridian CC 23.60 Central Chip Gayden (3rd) 23
23 Hutchinson CC 19.69 Central Pat Becher (31st) 22
24 Hinds CC 16.12 Central Reginald Dillon (1st) 25
25 Garden City CC 15.92 Central Douglas Marshall (2nd) 26
Dropped out: No. 24 Harper
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Women’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points Last Week
Atlantic Monroe 806.02 1
Central Barton County CC 558.24 2
Midwest Iowa Central CC 763.27 1
West New Mexico JC 632.05 1
View All Regional Rankings

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field

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