2017 NCAA DIII Men’s Outdoor Team Rankings – Preseason
NOTE: Only USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for rankings. Please check your membership status HERE.
NEW ORLEANS – History is at stake this season in NCAA Division III Men’s Outdoor Track & Field.
North Central (Ill.) is an outdoor title away from completing the fabled Triple Crown, which goes to a team for winning the cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field team titles during the same academic year.
UW-La Crosse is looking to capture its 3rd consecutive team title, which hasn’t been done since 2001 through 2004. And what do you know: The Eagles won all of those as well.
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its preseason rankings in NCAA Division III on Tuesday and UW-La Crosse and North Central (Ill.) were two of the top-3 teams in that billing. The other team in the top-3 was Rowan, one that has never been ranked higher in program history.
NCAA Division III National Team Rankings Top 5 – Men
|UW-La Crosse||Rowan||North Central (Ill.)||Occidental||UW-Whitewater|
The order goes something like this: UW-La Crosse headlines the rankings with 169.99 points and is followed by 2nd-ranked Rowan with 124.68. North Central (Ill.) is right on the Owls’ heels with 124.05 points of its own.
For those uninitiated, the National Team Computer Rankings are compiled by a mathematical formula based on the NCAA Division III Descending Order Lists. Marks from previous seasons are included until enough data can be drawn from the current season and current freshmen aren’t included in the rankings until they compete in an outdoor meet. 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 race for a national title. Ranking points don’t equate with points that will be scored at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Eagles will be led by their dynamic relay teams, a standout sprinter and a top-ranked thrower. Ernest Winters is a double threat in the 100 and 200 and UW-La Crosse’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams are ranked in the top-3. Nathan Berg, the Eagles’ best hammer thrower, is expected to score major points for them all season long.
Rowan jumped 16 places from the end of the last outdoor season thanks to a strong performance at the start of this one. David Benjamin recorded a top mark in the 110 hurdles of 14.22. That put him atop the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings – used until enough data is collected from the current season – and pushed the Owls to the moon. Rowan is also led by Jeffrey Jon Tucker, who is a standout jumper – both of the high and long variety.
North Central (Ill.) will be guided by Zach Plank on the track and Luke Winder in the field. Plank is ranked in the top-3 in both the 5000 and 10000, while Winder continues to be one of the most dominant pole vaulters in NCAA DIII history. Ethan Adlfinger should provide them with big points in the steeplechase as well.
Occidental moved up 10 spots and comes into the preseason ranked 4th. The Tigers have three strong sprinters in Jeh Johnson (1st, 200), Hugh Pegan (2nd, 200) and Gabriel Barrett-Jackson (3rd, 400). Together they form three-fourths of the 4th-ranked 4×400 team.
UW-Whitewater starts the season ranked 5th, the same place it finished at NCAAs last year. Theron Baumann (No. 1 in both the shot put and discus throw) and Parker Witt (top-6 in both the 100 and 200) are the leaders of the Warhawks.
Several teams soared in the rankings compared to where they finished at NCAAs in 2016, namely Linfield and Calvin. Both tied for 71st last year and the former vaulted from there to 21st in the preseason, while the latter did so to 23rd.
Augustana (Ill.) also made a notable jump, rising from No. 60 to No. 16.
The 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held from May 25-27 in Geneva, Ohio.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division III
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2017 Preseason — March 21
|next ranking: April 4|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||UW-La Crosse||169.99||WIAC||Josh Buchholtz (9th)||1|
|2||Rowan||124.68||NJAC||Dustin Dimit (3rd)||18|
|3||North Central (Ill.)||124.05||CCIW||Frank Gramarosso (7th)||9|
|4||Occidental||99.33||SCIAC||Robert Bartlett (12th)||14|
|5||UW-Whitewater||91.31||WIAC||Mike Johnson (8th)||5|
|6||UW-Platteville||89.41||WIAC||Chris Rotzenberg (5th)||4|
|7||UW-Stevens Point||88.33||WIAC||Brett Witt (3rd)||17|
|8||UW-Eau Claire||87.46||WIAC||Chip Schneider (15th)||2|
|9||SUNY Cortland||86.42||SUNYAC||Steve Patrick (10th)||10|
|10||Monmouth (Ill.)||78.96||Midwest Conference||Roger Haynes (34th)||3|
|11||MIT||73.25||NEWMAC||Halston Taylor (27th)||22|
|12||UW-Stout||65.11||WIAC||Kyle Steiner (4th)||15|
|13||Widener||64.62||Middle Atlantic||Vince Touey (30th)||53|
|14||Hamline||62.98||MIAC||Paul Schmaedeke (26th)||34|
|15||Wesley||58.49||CAC||Stephen Kimes (5th)||7|
|16||Augustana (Ill.)||57.64||CCIW||Paul Olsen (48th)||60|
|17||Penn State Behrend||54.50||CSAC||Greg Cooper (11th)||46|
|18||UW-Oshkosh||53.85||WIAC||Mary Theisen (1st)||18|
|19||Aurora||53.26||NACC||Brandon Sturman (1st)||10|
|20||Mount Union||49.23||OAC||Kevin Lucas (7th)||34|
|21||Linfield||46.14||Northwest Conference||Travis Olson (7th)||71|
|22||Pomona-Pitzer||45.23||SCIAC||Tony Boston (9th)||53|
|23||Calvin||44.88||Michigan Intercollegiate||Bret Otte (8th)||71|
|24||St. John Fisher||44.40||Empire 8||Mike Henchen (5th)||34|
|25||Stockton||43.27||NJAC||Jayson Resch (5th)||32|
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