UW-La Crosse Men & Women Headline First NCAA DIII Outdoor Rankings

By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA

March 23, 2016   

NEW ORLEANS — At the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships last year, both UW-La Crosse teams returned to prominence in dominant fashion.

NCAA Division III National Team Rankings Top 5 – Men

1)Texas A&M 2)Texas A&M 3)Oregon 4)Texas 5)Texas
UW-La Crosse UW-Whitewater UW-Eau Claire Monmouth (Ill.) UW-Stevens Point
171.49 pts 112.51 pts 111.70 pts 90.80 pts 86.73 pts
View Complete Men’s National Team Computer Rankings

 

NCAA Division III National Team Rankings Top 5 – Women

1)Oregon 2)Texas 3)Oregon 4)Texas A&M 5)Oregon
UW-La Crosse Baldwin Wallace Washington (Mo.) Illinois Wesleyan MIT
181.08 pts 120.63 pts 118.71 pts 116.84 pts 99.32 pts
View Complete Women’s National Team Computer Rankings

 

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The Eagles swept the national titles as both the men and women won by more than 20 points. It was the men’s first crown since 2013, while the women waited a bit longer to hold up a championship trophy once again (1984).

If the calculations of the National Team Computer Rankings are correct, UW-La Crosse could add two more pieces of hardware to its trophy case in 2016. According to the preseason rankings, which were released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the Eagles are heavily favored to sweep again this season.

UW-La Crosse’s men are more than 55 points up on second-place UW-Whitewater, last year’s third-place team. The Eagles tallied 171.49 points compared to the Warhawks’ 112.51, while last year’s runner-up UW-Eau Claire sits third with 111.70.

In the women’s rankings, UW-La Crosse owns an even healthier advantage. The Eagles earned 181.08 points, 60.45 more than second-ranked 2016 indoor champs Baldwin Wallace. Third-ranked Washington (Mo.) and fourth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan are the two other women’s teams with more than 100 points.

Points in the National Team Computer Rankings are calculated using descending order lists. The higher an athlete is ranked on the list, the more points he or she provides her team. Since there isn’t enough data from the current season, marks from previous outdoor seasons are included until enough data can be collected from the current season.

Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. A full description of the rankings can be found here.

Note: The National Team Computer Rankings should not be referred to as a poll since no voting occurs during the process.

Men’s Rankings

One look at the returning talent the UW-La Crosse has and it’s easy to see why the team is favored to repeat.

The Eagles have seven top-5 marks in the combined descending order lists, led by the top-ranked 4×100 relay team in the nation. Outside of that relay — and the third-ranked 4×400 team — here are UW-La Crosse’s highly-ranked individuals: Ross Denman (2nd 400 meters), Zak Wallenfang (3rd 400 hurdles), Matt Eidenschink (4th steeplechase), Alex Koenen (4th 100 meters) and Daniel Otto (5th 110 hurdles).

UW-Whitewater should be led by the tremendous trio of Theron Baumann, Robert Starnes and Parker Witt. Baumann (shot put, discus) and Starnes (high jump, long jump) are both forces in the field, while Witt should contribute major points in the 100 meters and 200 meters.

For UW-Eau Claire to complete the fabled "Triple Crown" (titles in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field, all in the same academic year), its athletes must continue to step up in crunch time. The Blugolds will look to thrower Alex Mess, distance runners Christian Leitner, Ryan Mugan and Josh Thorson as well as the strong relay teams to carry them come May.

Monmouth (Ill.) and UW-Stevens Point shot into the top-5 for the first time in program history this early in the season. The Scots, headlined by Ethan Reschke (1st 200 meters, 3rd 400 meters) and Pointers, led by junior jumper Jerry Williams, went from unranked and 33rd to fourth and fifth, respectively.

Rounding out the top-10 in the men’s rankings are sixth-ranked North Central (Ill.), No. 7 St. Olaf, No. 8 Williams, No. 9 UW-Oshkosh and No. 10 Salisbury.

Teams making huge strides in the preseason rankings also include Rowan (13th), Aurora (14th), George Fox (17th) and Wesley (20th).

Women’s Rankings

When a team has six individuals and/or relays ranked in the top-2, it’s hard to not call it the favorite.

That’s the case with UW-La Crosse in the women’s rankings.

The Eagles are led by Meg Heafy (1st 100 meters, 1st 200 meters), Bria Halama (1st triple jump, 2nd 400 meters) and its pair of second-ranked relay teams (4×100, 4×400). Throw in Claire Gordee in the 100 hurdles and Meaghan Howell in the pole vault and UW-La Crosse is loaded.

It would be impossible, however, to count out Baldwin Wallace. The Yellow Jackets did just win the indoor title thanks to performance of Kim Gallavan and Melanie Winters, both of whom are poised for big outdoor seasons.

Washington (Mo.) and Illinois Wesleyan settled in behind Baldwin Wallace (120.63), but both aren’t too far behind. The Bears, led by Kelli Hancock, Daisy Ogede and Emily Warner, tallied 118.71 points, while the Titans, with a squadron of field athletes and Nia Joiner, compiled 116.84.

Fifth-ranked MIT sits in familiar territory, since that’s where the Engineers placed last year at NCAAs.

Two teams found themselves in the top-10 this early in the season for the first time in a few years — Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Rowan. The former started out as No. 7 in 2012, while the latter earned a third-place billing to star tthe 2014 season.

Nebraska Wesleyan, UW-Stout, Ohio Wesleyan and SUNY Oneonta all came out of relative obscurity at the end of the 2015 season (read: ranked outside of the top-50) to land in the preseason top-25.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

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

2016 Preseason — March 23

next ranking: TUESDAY, April 5
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2015 FINAL
1 UW-La Crosse 171.49 WIAC Josh Buchholtz (8th) 1
2 UW-Whitewater 112.51 WIAC Mike Johnson (7th) 3
3 UW-Eau Claire 111.70 WIAC Chip Schneider (14th) 2
4 Monmouth (Ill.) 90.80 Midwest Roger Haynes (33rd) NR
5 UW-Stevens Point 86.73 WIAC Rick Witt (37th) 33
6 North Central (Ill.) 80.72 CCIW Frank Gramarosso (6th) 7
7 St. Olaf 75.79 MIAC Phil Lundin (8th) 5
8 Williams 75.30 NESCAC Ethan Barron (1st) 12
9 UW-Oshkosh 73.36 WIAC Ben Dorsey (1st) 39
10 Salisbury 68.02 CAC Jim Jones (17th) 4
11 Whitworth 67.30 Northwes Toby Schwarz (20th) 19
12 UW-Platteville 64.64 WIAC Chris Rotzenberg (4th) 7
13 Rowan 61.72 NJAC Dustin Dimit (2nd) 43
14 Aurora 61.59 NACC Ryan Chapman (8th) 39
15 Occidental 57.90 SCIAC Robert Bartlett (11th) 27
16 Augustana (Ill.) 57.60 CCIW Paul Olsen (47th) 7
17 George Fox 54.36 Northwest John Smith (10th) 61
18 St. Scholastica 50.26 UMAC Kirk Nauman (9th) 49
19 Mount Union 49.49 OAC Kevin Lucas (6th) 15
20 Wesley 49.07 CAC Stephen Kimes (4th) 74
21 Wabash 46.02 NCAC Clyde Morgan (8th) 27
22 Rhode Island College 45.34 Little East Kevin Jackson (15th) 23
23 Widener 45.07 Middle Atlantic Vince Touey (29th) 43
24 RPI 45.04 Liberty League Colin Tory (16th) 49
25 UW-Stout 44.58 WIAC Kyle Steiner (3rd) 11
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 WIAC 701.65 7
2 CCIW 221.10 2
3 SCIAC 191.96 1
4 Northwest Conference 190.45 2
5 MIAC 188.11 1
6 NESCAC 153.96 1
7 CAC 147.28 2
8 NCAC 138.64 1
9 Middle Atlantic 134.42 1
10 SUNYAC 134.41

 

Men’s Regional Index Leaders
Region Institution Points Last Week
Atlantic returns April 5
Central returns April 5
Great Lakes returns April 5
Mideast returns April 5
Midwest returns April 5
New England returns April 5
South/Southeast returns April 5
West returns April 5
View All Regional Rankings

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

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

2016 Preseason — March 23

next ranking: TUESDAY, April 5
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2015 FINAL
1 UW-La Crosse 181.08 WIAC Pat Healy (25th) 1
2 Baldwin Wallace 120.63 OAC Matthew Cole (1st) 8
3 Washington (Mo.) 118.71 UAA Jeff Stiles (15th) 3
4 Illinois Wesleyan 116.84 CCIW Chris Schumacher (19th) 4
5 MIT 99.32 NEWMAC Halston Taylor (9th) 5
6 UW-Eau Claire 97.70 WIAC Chip Schneider (10th) 2
7 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 87.44 SCIAC Kelly Beck (2nd) 17
8 Rowan 84.06 NJAC Derick “Ringo” Adamson (9th) 57
9 UW-Oshkosh 75.03 WIAC Ben Dorsey (4th) 7
10 North Central (Ill.) 67.45 CCIW Kari Kluckhohn (13th) 6
11 Williams 66.44 NESCAC Nate Hoey (3rd) 21
12 Nebraska Wesleyan 66.10 Great Plains Ted Bulling (29th) 51
13 UW-Platteville 62.75 WIAC Chris Rotzenberg (4th) 40
14 St. Thomas (Minn.) 62.05 MIAC Joe Sweeney (36th) 22
15 UW-Stevens Point 61.16 WIAC Brett Witt (2nd) 22
16 UW-Stout 56.45 WIAC Kyle Steiner (3rd) 73
17 Cornell College 54.95 Midwest Dan Schofer (4th) 10
18 Whitworth 52.09 Northwest Toby Schwarz (20th) 13
19 Luther 51.29 IIAC Jeffrey Wettach (10th) 12
20 Lehman 49.19 CUNYAC Pete Charles (4th) 19
21 SUNY Oneonta 48.90 SUNYAC Angelo Posillico (3rd) NR
22 Ohio Wesleyan 47.65 NCAC Kris Boey (14th) 73
23 Denison 46.04 NCAC Mark FitzPatrick (5th) 22
24 Carleton 45.90 MIAC Donna Ricks (23rd) 46
25 St. Lawrence 45.11 Liberty League Kate Curran (8th) 8
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 WIAC 561.96 6
2 CCIW 229.21 2
3 OAC 215.78 1
4 NESCAC 200.10 1
5 SCIAC 187.82 1
6 IIAC 186.66 1
7 UAA 167.62 1
8 MIAC 154.98 2
9 NCAC 154.01 2
10 NEWMAC 146.73 1

 

Women’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points Last Week
Atlantic returns April 5
Central returns April 5
Great Lakes returns April 5
Mideast returns April 5
Midwest returns April 5
New England returns April 5
South/Southeast returns April 5
West returns April 5
View All Regional Rankings