LSU Tabbed As Preseason Favorite In NCAA DI Women’s Outdoor Rankings
NEW ORLEANS — Parity is the name of the game in NCAA Division I Women’s Outdoor Track & Field, much more than it is during the indoor season.
There have been three different national champions in the past three years (Kansas in 2013, Texas A&M in 2014 and Oregon last year) compared to only two under a roof in the past seven years (Arkansas put itself in the middle of an attempted Duck six-peat).
The preseason edition of the National Team Computer Rankings, released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), project that trend to continue come June at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
LSU enters the 2016 season as the odds-on favorite to capture its 15th national title as Dennis Shaver’s team owns an 8.19-point advantage in the rankings. The Tigers, who dominated from 1987 until 1997 (read: 11 consecutive titles), haven’t won a crown since 2008.
Falling in behind top-ranked LSU (272.68 points) is second-ranked Oregon (264.49), third-ranked Arkansas (253.88), fourth-ranked Southern California (248.59) and fifth-ranked Texas A&M (243.79).
Points in the National Team Computer Rankings are calculated 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.
Marks from the previous outdoor season — not this past indoor season that just finished — are counted until enough data can be collected from the current season. Then, past data is dropped and only data from the current campaign is used from there on out.
Note: The National Team Computer Rankings should not be referred to as a “poll,” as no voting occurs during the process.
Thanks to a healthy squadron of sprinters, hurdles and field athletes, the Tigers are poised to greatly improve on an 11th-place finish last June in Eugene, Oregon.
LSU has 11 athletes and/or relays ranked in the top-10 nationally. That includes Nataliyah Friar (3rd long jump, 6th triple jump), Chanice Chase (3rd 100 hurdles), Jada Martin (5th 200 meters), Aleia Hobbs (5th 100 meters), Morgan Schuetz (8th 800 meters), Rebekah Wales (8th javelin), Daeshon Gordon (8th 100 hurdles), Mikiah Brisco (9th 100 meters), the 4×100 relay (3rd) and 4×400 relay (8th).
The second-ranked Ducks, fresh off its sixth indoor title in the past seven years, own nine top-10 marks. Jasmine Todd (1st 100 meters) and Raevyn Rogers (1st 800 meters) are defending champs of their respective events and hope to be helped come June by the blossoming efforts of Brittany Mann (shot put) and Sasha Wallace (100 hurdles), among others.
Despite watching All-America hurdler and world junior record holder Dior Hall go down with a season-ending injury in the winter, the Trojans are looking stronger than ever. Graduation didn’t hit USC too hard as the team returns most of its point scorers from last year’s seventh-place team.
The Trojans will be led by a trio of strong sprinters (Alexis Faulknor, Deanna Hill, Ky Westbrook), two hurdlers (Jaide Stepter, pentathlete Amalie Iuel), a talented discus thrower (Tera Novy) and two relay teams (4×100, 4×400).
Looking elsewhere in the rankings, it’s easy to see why many consider the SEC to be the premier track & field conference in the nation. Not only does the SEC have four teams in the top-6 (Georgia comes in at No. 6), it has the ninth, 10th and 11th best teams in the rankings as well — Kentucky, Florida and Mississippi State, respectively.
A few spots below the Bulldogs you’ll find Ohio State and New Mexico, both teams that made huge jumps from the previous season. The Buckeyes went from unranked to 16th thanks to sprinters Aisha Cavin and Sonikqua Walker, while the Lady Lobos surged from 48th to 17th, largely due to the transfer of steeple champ Courtney Frerichs.
Other new additions to the top-25 compared to the end of last year include Baylor, Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma State.
The 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held June 8-11 at Hayward Field. This will be the 14th time since 1962 that Track Town USA will host the event.
Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2016 Preseason — March 23
|next ranking: April 4|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||2015 FINAL|
|1||LSU||272.68||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||11|
|2||Oregon||264.49||Pac-12||Robert Johnson (4th)||1|
|3||Arkansas||253.88||SEC||Lance Harter (26th)||4|
|4||Southern California||248.59||Pac-12||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||7|
|5||Texas A&M||243.79||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||3|
|6||Georgia||242.05||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||5|
|7||Texas||201.08||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||9|
|8||Kansas State||191.37||Big 12||Cliff Rovelto (24th)||9|
|9||Kentucky||173.74||SEC||Edrick Floreal (4th)||2|
|10||Florida||169.93||SEC||Mike Holloway (9th)||8|
|11||Mississippi State||168.26||SEC||Steve Dudley (6th)||18|
|12||Oklahoma||138.34||Big 12||Jim VanHootegem (3rd)||15|
|13||Stanford||115.79||Pac-12||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||13|
|14||Florida State||100.34||ACC||Bob Braman (13th)||6|
|15||Notre Dame||98.29||ACC||Alan Turner (2nd)||13|
|16||Ohio State||97.16||Big Ten||Karen Dennis (10th)||NR|
|17||New Mexico||95.97||Mountain West||Joe Franklin (9th)||48|
|18||Virginia Tech||95.53||ACC||Dave Cianelli (15th)||15|
|19||Baylor||93.59||Big 12||Todd Harbour (11th)||51|
|20||Michigan State||90.69||Big Ten||Walt Drenth (10th)||20|
|21||Miami (Fla.)||88.79||ACC||Amy Deem (26th)||28|
|22||Michigan||87.80||Big Ten||James Henry (31st)||19|
|23||Alabama||87.37||SEC||Dan Waters (5th)||20|
|24||Oklahoma State||87.32||Big 12||Dave Smith (7th)||35|
|25||Wisconsin||83.69||Big Ten||Mick Byrne (3rd)||15|
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|Women’s Conference Index Top 10|
|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
|Women’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)|
|Great Lakes||returns April 6|
|Mid-Atlantic||returns April 6|
|Midwest||returns April 6|
|Mountain||returns April 6|
|Northeast||returns April 6|
|South||returns April 6|
|South Central||returns April 6|
|Southeast||returns April 6|
|West||returns April 6|
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