NCAA DIII Men’s ITF Season Comes Into Focus With Preseason Rankings
NEW ORLEANS — Team efforts win championships and one look at the NCAA Division III Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings shows the preseason favorites will use that mentality in the 2017 season.
None of the top-5 teams — No. 1 UW-La Crosse, No. 2 MIT, No. 3 SUNY Cortland, No. 4 UW-Whitewater and No. 5 Benedictine (Ill.) — have more than one top-ranked athlete according to the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings.
Scores were determined by using preseason event rankings that include the top marks of recent NCAA indoor track & field seasons by returning student-athletes and the top marks of the young 2017 campaign. Marks from the outdoor season are not included, nor are marks from incoming freshmen.
The closer an athlete is to the top of his or her event rankings, the more points he or she earns toward the team total. Points from all applicable athletes are added up to determine team scores.
The point system used in the rankings is not the same as the scoring system used for the NCAA Championships.
The Eagles are the preseason No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year. UW-La Crosse has actually been the top-ranked team 20 of the past 29 weeks and won two NCAA titles during that time.
Leading the way for the Eagles this year will be Nathan Berg, Brendan Deiss, Ross Denman and Ernest Winters. Berg is the 2nd ranked weight thrower according to the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings, while Deiss is the top-ranked high jumper. Denman is No. 4 in the 400 and No. 12 in the 200 and Winters is 4th in the 200 and 11th in the 60.
The Engineers surged 14 spots from the end of last year and are looking for Tre Albritten, Matthew Deyo and Arinze Okeke to rise to the occasion. Albritten is ranked No. 4 in the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings when it comes to the 200. Deyo is No. 2 in the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings for the 5000 and Okeke can give MIT major points in the horizontal jumps.
The Red Dragons are loaded with talent in the heptathlon and expect to flaunt it this season. This is SUNY Cortland’s highest ranking in program history and athletes like Jack Flood (No. 1 in USTFCCCA Individual Rankings for the heptathlon), Connor Chrisopherson (No. 3) and Brent Di Vitorrio (No. 7) are expected to score big throughout the season and especially at NCAAs.
The Warhawks are back in the top-5 once again, a spot they occupied quite a bit over the past few years. UW-Whitewater will rely on junior sprinter Parker Witt (60/200) as well as top-ranked throwers Theron Baumann (1st, shot put) and Levi Perry (3rd, weight throw).
The Eagles, who finished 5th at NCAAs last year, are predicted to finish right around that spot this year. Benedictine’s strength holds true in the horizontal jumps where Roman Hill (1st, long jump) and Luther Newburn (1st, triple jump) hold down top spots.
Teams that round out the top-10 include defending champion UW-Eau Claire at No. 6, Wesley at No. 7, Widener at No. 8, UW-Stevens Point at No. 9 and North Central (Ill.) at No. 10. This is the best ranking in program history for Wesley and the second best mark for Widener (No. 7 in 2015).
We’ll see how the preseason rankings hold up throughout the season and especially at the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 10-11.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2017 Preseason — January 10
|next ranking: January 24|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||2016 FINAL|
|1||UW-La Crosse||148.16||WIAC||Josh Buchholtz (9th)||3|
|2||MIT||127.79||NEWMAC||Halston Taylor (27th)||16|
|3||SUNY Cortland||94.69||SUNYAC||Steve Patrick (10th)||28|
|4||UW-Whitewater||91.93||WIAC||Mike Johnson (8th)||2|
|5||Benedictine (Ill.)||88.55||NACC||Kevin Paterson (3rd)||NR|
|6||UW-Eau Claire||85.86||WIAC||Chip Schneider (15th)||1|
|7||Wesley||85.23||CAC||Stephen Kimes (5th)||47|
|8||Widener||79.93||Middle Atlantic||Vince Touey (30th)||11|
|9||UW-Stevens Point||60.44||WIAC||Rick Witt (38th)||10|
|10||North Central (Ill.)||59.15||CCIW||Frank Gramarosso (7th)||5|
|11||UW-Platteville||56.31||WIAC||Chris Rotzenberg (5th)||16|
|12||UW-Oshkosh||55.60||WIAC||Ben Dorsey (2nd)||13|
|13||Augustana (Ill.)||48.02||CCIW||Paul Olsen (48th)||16|
|14||Mount Union||46.31||OAC||Kevin Lucas (7th)||25|
|15||Tufts||44.98||NESCAC||Joel Williams (2nd)||21|
|16||Ramapo||44.15||NJAC||Justina Cassavell (2nd)||38|
|17||Washington (Mo.)||43.84||UAA||Jeff Stiles (16th)||9|
|18||Rowan||43.23||NJAC||Dustin Dimit (3rd)||60|
|19||Monmouth (Ill.)||42.98||Midwest Conference||Roger Haynes (34th)||4|
|20||Williams||42.61||NESCAC||Ethan Barron (2nd)||7|
|21||Puget Sound||42.42||Northwest Conference||Mike Orechia (20th)||34|
|22||UW-Stout||39.25||WIAC||Kyle Steiner (4th)||16|
|23||Stockton||38.65||NJAC||Jayson Resch (5th)||32|
|24||Aurora||38.01||NACC||Brandon Sturman (1st)||38|
|25||SUNY Geneseo||33.46||SUNYAC||Chris Popovici (3rd)||16|
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