Pittsburg State Takes Top DII Women’s ITF Ranking Into Championship Weekend
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NEW ORLEANS — Last season, Pittsburg State finished a program-best 4th at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Championships. This year, the Gorillas will head into the meet at the Birmingham CrossPlex from March 9-11 as the top-ranked team in the Division II National Team Rankings, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
Standing in the way of the Gorillas’ first national title is Grand Valley State and Adams State, who are ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively. GVSU leads the way with 14 entrants into the national meet, while Adams State, Pittsburg State and Minnesota State – who is ranked 8th – are tied with 10 entrants.
NCAA Division II National Team Rankings Top 5 – Women
Pittsburg State, GVSU and Adams State combine for 31 top-10 marks in Division II in the nation, and those will factor heavily into who carries home the trophy on Saturday. But with six individual champions returning from a year ago who belong to teams other than the aforementioned three, the final standings could be muddied compared to the pre-championship rankings.
Adams State hopes to record high finishes in the sprints in order to garner points this weekend to help win its 3rd national title and first since 2014. Dianna Johnson was one of just two Division II 60 meter runners to post a Division II Automatic Qualifying Mark in the event with her time good for 2nd in all of Division II. Teammate Sunayna Wahi sits 5th on the Descending Order List in both the 60 meters and 200 meters.
After back-to-back indoor titles in 2011-12, GVSU needs big-time performances from its athletes for a 3rd championship. Most of its hopes rest on the shoulders of Kendra Foley, who will look to make a splash in the 5000 meters; an event in which she owns the top time in all of Division II.
Foley will be tested by Adams State’s do-it-all runner Jenna Thurman, who is sure to score points as the 3rd-best competitor in the event based on times. As a matter of fact, Thurman could be one of the deciding factors for the Grizzlies. The junior owns the 2nd-best time in the 800 meters, 4th-best time in the mile and 4th-fastest mark in the 3000 meters in Division II this year.
The Gorillas should notch double-digit points in the 60 hurdles, as Emilyn Dearman (1st) and Courtney Nelson (3rd) sit in the top-3 of the Descending Order Lists. Pittsburg State can also rely on Dearman to score again in the pentathlon, as the senior ranks 2nd in Division II this year, as well as the high jump, where she ranks 6th.
WHEN: March 10-11 | Schedule
Additionally, Pittsburg State’s shot putters, Jasmine Smith and Jena Black, should score highly over the weekend. The duo posted NCAA Division II Automatic Qualifying Marks, and sit 3rd and 4th, respectively, in Division II this year.
The relays will play a major role in determining the outcome of the weekend. Adams State’s distance medley relay squad owns the top mark in Division II this season, but GVSU is right on their heels with the 4th-best mark in the nation. In the 4×400 relay, Pittsburg State holds the best time heading into the weekend, with GVSU (2nd) and Adams State (8th) both ranking within the top-10.
While those teams will all vie for national prominence, six individuals return to defend their national titles from a year ago.
Nikia Squire of Queens (N.C.) could upset one of the two aforementioned 60 meter dash runners from Adams State. While she sits 6th in Division II heading into the meet, her time is just seven one-hundredths of a second off the top time, held by Texas A&M-Commerce’s Deana Richardson.
Carly Muscaro could score enough points on her own to make Merrimack a top-10 team. The defending national champion in the 400 meters enters this meet with the top marks in the 400 and 200 meter races.
Holding down the top time in the 800 meters is 2016 Division II National Champion Carsyn Koch from Cedarville. On the season, she holds a time about 1.5 seconds faster than GVSU’s Rachael Walters.
In the field events, Southwest Baptist’s Natalie O’Keefe (high jump), Chadron State’s Stachia Reuwsaat (pole vault) and Winona State’s Kaitlyn Long (weight throw) all enter the meet as returning champions who have posted the top marks in their respective events.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division II
Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2017 Week #7 — March 6 (pre-championships)
|next ranking: (none), NCAA Championships|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||Pittsburg State||169.84||MIAA||Russ Jewett (31st)||1|
|2||Grand Valley State||142.38||GLIAC||Jerry Baltes (18th)||2|
|3||Adams State||125.86||RMAC||Rock Light (4th)||3|
|4||West Texas A&M||92.18||Lone Star||Darren Flowers (8th)||5|
|5||Chadron State||85.81||RMAC||Brad Gamble (3rd)||7|
|6||U-Mary||85.20||NSIC||Mike Thorson (23rd)||4|
|7||Southwest Baptist||81.32||MIAA||Corey McElhaney (9th)||6|
|8||Minnesota State||76.95||NSIC||Jim Dilling (1st)||10|
|9||Minnesota Duluth||72.07||NSIC||Joanna Warmington (6th)||11|
|10||Western State||69.51||RMAC||Chris Bradford (8th)||9|
|11||Texas A&M-Kingsville||66.92||Lone Star||Ryan Dall (9th)||12|
|12||Central Missouri||66.05||MIAA||Kirk Pedersen (21st)/Kip Janvrin (19th)||13|
|13||Cedarville||64.15||G-MAC||Jeff Bolender (14th)||8|
|14||Johnson C. Smith||59.37||CIAA||Lennox Graham (10th)||NR|
|15||Merrimack||59.16||Northeast-10||Jacky Mendes (3rd)||14|
|16||Ashland||55.19||GLIAC||Jud Logan (14th)||15|
|17||Walsh||54.07||GLIAC||Rob Mizicko (5th)||16|
|18||Findlay||48.23||GLIAC||Marc Arce (29th)||18|
|19||Angelo State||46.82||Lone Star||Tom Dibbern (1st)||19|
|20||Hillsdale||46.53||GLIAC||Andrew Towne (6th)||17|
|21||Southern Connecticut||42.58||Northeast-10||Melissa Stoll (5th)||21|
|22||Winona State||42.44||NSIC||Mason Rebarchek (13th)||23|
|23||Lincoln (Mo.)||42.35||MIAA||Victor Thomas (16th)||20|
|24||Academy of Art||40.48||PacWest||Kevin LaSure (2nd)||22|
|25||Simon Fraser||39.36||GNAC||Brit Townsend (17th)||34|
|dropped out: No. 24 Alaska Anchorage, No. 25 New Mexico Highlands|
|View All Teams Beyond the Top 25|
|Women’s Conference Index Top 10|
|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
|Women’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)|
|Midwest||Grand Valley State||469.66||1|
|South Central||Adams State||405.49||1|
|View All Regional Rankings|
Women’s #EventSquad Leaders (Best Foursome in the Country By Event)
|Event||Institution||Squad Average||Squad Total|
|60 Meters||Texas A&M-Kingsville||7.55||30.21|
|200 Meters||Minnesota State||24.69||1:38.75|
|400 Meters||Johnson C. Smith||55.27||3:41.08|
|800 Meters||Adams State||2:12.19||8:48.78|
|3000 Meters||Western State||9:43.83||38:55.33|
|5000 Meters||Adams State||16:53.29||1:7:33.14|
|60 Meter Hurdles||Angelo State||8.81||35.23|
|High Jump||Minnesota State||1.71m||5-7¼||6.84m||22-5¼|
|Pole Vault||Sioux Falls||3.82m||12-6½||15.29m||50-2|
|Long Jump||Angelo State||5.73m||18-9¾||22.92m||75-2½|
|Shot Put||Concordia (Ore.)||14.58m||47-10¼||58.33m||191-4|