2018 NCAA DIII Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Rankings – Preseason
NEW ORLEANS – Just about two months from now the 2018 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama, site of the NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II meets the past two years.
A lot can change between now and then, but if the Preseason National Team Computer Rankings are right, UW-La Crosse would walk away with its second consecutive title. The Eagles enter the season ranked No. 1 – for the fifth consecutive year – ahead of No. 2 Rowan and No. 3 Dubuque.
UW-La Crosse is expected to get it done with a true team approach as it only has one top-ranked athlete on its roster: Brendan Deiss in the high jump. Otherwise, the Eagles feature a bevy of men ranked between fourth and 10th in their respective events, including double-threat sprinter Ernest Winters in the 60 and 200.
The Profs have an incredible one-two punch on their roster with Bobby Cooks and David Benjamin, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the 60 hurdles, respectively. Cooks and Benjamin will be joined by senior Jeffrey Jon Tucker, a jumper who is ranked in the top-10 of both the high jump and long jump. Rowan has never been ranked higher than 12th in the history of the National Team Computer Rankings.
Coming in at a program-best third are the Spartans, who have a strong contingent in the field. Dubuque will look toward Ron Brown and Blaze Murfin in the weight throw, while Murfin will also add quality points in the shot put. Alec Bass is a threat in the distance events and enters the season ranked second in the 3000 according to the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings.
Christopher Newport is ranked fourth, its best billing in program history. The Captains saw a breakthrough performance by Grayson Reid during the cross country season and hope the senior will carry that momentum forward in the distance events, where he is ranked No. 1 in the 5000. Other athletes ready to push CNU to the next level include Jeffrey Dover (No. 1 in the mile at the moment) and Ryan Scott (No. 3 at 200, No. 8 at 60 hurdles).
UW-Oshkosh rounds out the top-5 thanks to a pair of strong performances this early in the season. Joe Zack recorded the third fastest mile time in the nation, according to the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings, while Ryan Powers went in with the fifth fastest mark at 200 meters. Look out for Roberto Lara (No. 6 in the mile), Devan Gertschen (No. 6 in the pole vault) and Justin Skinkis (No. 5 in the 800) as well.
The rest of the top-10 is as follows: No. 6 Benedictine (Ill.), No. 7 Mount Union, No. 8 MIT, No. 9 UW-Stevens Point and No. 10 North Central (Ill.).
Our next rankings will come out January 23 following two weeks of competition.