2018 NCAA DIII Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Rankings – Preseason
NEW ORLEANS – North Central (Ill.) and Rowan know a thing or two – or 11 – about winning NCAA Division III Men’s Outdoor Track & Field team titles.
Since 1980, the Cardinals and Profs have combined for 11 national team titles. North Central (Ill.) last won in 2011, while Rowan’s last crown came in 1984 on the tail end of a five-peat.
Well, the Preseason National Team Rankings released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) see the Cardinals and Profs as the class of the division as they’re ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the first index of the 2018 season.
|Click Here for the National Summary (PDF)|
North Central (Ill.), No. 1 for the first time in the preseason since 2013, is loaded across the board. The Cardinals have top-10 preseason marks in five events, including the steeple (Dan O’Keefe), 5000 (Dhruvil Patel and Nolan McKenna), 10000 (Matthew Norvell), 400 hurdles (Peyton Piron) and pole vault (Luke Winder and Dylan Kuipers).
Rowan, also No. 2 in the 2017 preseason, will rely on its hurdlers and jumpers to win its first team title in 34 years. The Profs have Bobby Cooks and Anthony Salemo, who are No. 1 and No. 2 in the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles, respectively, as well as Harrison Escoffery and Jeffery Jon Tucker, two of the best high jumpers and horizontal jumpers in the division.
UW-La Crosse sits No. 3, its lowest ranking in the preseason since 2013 when it was fourth. The three-time defending champion Eagles lost some talent to graduation, yet still feature the likes of Ernest Winters in the sprints and Nathan Berg in the hammer throw.
Augustana (Ill.) comes in at No. 4, its best ranking in program history. The Vikings feature three athletes with top-5 preseason marks: Cody Wheeler in the hammer throw, Tanner Osing in the 5000 and Josh Vamamoto in the 400 hurdles.
UW-Stout is ranked a program-high fifth and can thank Sam Elsner for that. Elsner, the Outstanding Men’s Field Athlete of the NCAA DIII Indoor Championships, enters the season with the top hammer mark in the nation and is ranked third and fourth in the discus and shot put, respectively, using preseason marks.
There is a logjam in the rest of the top-10 as No. 6 UW-Whitewater, No. 7 Mount Union, No. 8 Benedictine (Ill.), No. 9 UW-Eau Claire and No. 10 St. John Fisher all sit within striking distance of each other.
Be sure to check back throughout the season in the lead up to the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships from May 24-26 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.