2019 NCAA DI Women’s Indoor Track & Field Rating Index – Pre-Championships
NEW ORLEANS – With the 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships starting this weekend, now is the perfect time to see who are the favorites heading into the biggest meet of the season as the Pre-Championship Edition of the National Rating Index was released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
Using marks from only athletes accepted into the national meet, Arkansas held the top spot of the nation once again, an edge they have held for the entire 2019 indoor season. The Razorbacks are expected to be followed on the podium by a combination of USC, LSU, Ohio State and New Mexico.
The 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will get underway his Friday, March 8 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Razorbacks have a whopping 14 entries into NCAAs, which includes Lexi Jacobus (tops the country in the pole vault), Kiarra Parker (second overall in the 60), Janeek Brown (second in the 60H), Kelsey Herman (third in the pentalaloon), Lauren Gregory (third in the mile and and sixth in the 3000) and Payton Chadwick (fourth in the 60H and sixth in the 200).
The last team to hold the No. 1 spot for the entire season was Oregon in 2017, which resulted in a national title for the Ducks. Arkansas’ current streak of being the top-ranked program for eight weeks in a row also ties the program record for time spent consecutively in the top spot, which matches an eight-week run between the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.
Southern California held steady at No. 2 for the sixth week in a row and brings 12 entries to NCAAs.
The Trojans will look towards Chanel Brissett (leads the nation in the 60H), Kyra Constantine (second in the 400), Twanisha Terry (third in the 60) and Anglerne Annelus (fourth in the 200), among others, to lead the scoring.
Also remaining it is previous position was No. 3 LSU, which has 11 entries to NCAAs.
The Tigers hope to see Kortnei Johnson (leads the nation in the 60), Lisa Gunnarsson (fourth in the pole vault), Sha’Carri Richardson (fifth in the 60 and 12th in the 200) and Tonea Marshall (60H) carry the scoring duties in Birmingham.
The only team to experience any kind of movement in the top-5 was No. 4 Ohio State. The Buckeyes jumped three spots from Week 6 and reached a new program best.
Ohio State only has four entries at NCAAs, but all four of them are either No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation in their respective events. Those athletes are Sade Olatoye (leads the country in both the shot put and weight throw), Anavia Battle (best in the 200) and Julia Rizk (second overall in the mile).
Remaining steady in the No. 5 spot for the third week in a row was New Mexico. The Lady Lobos will have six entries at NCAAs.
The group will be led by Ednah Kurgat (best in the country in the 5000 and ninth in the 3000), Weini Kelati (second in the 5000 and third in the 3000) and Charlotte Prouse (sixth in the 5000 and 10th in the 3000).
The rest of the top-10 was rounded out by Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Texas A&M and Kentucky.
In total, 19 of the top-25 teams experienced some kind of movement from the previous edition of the index. Four programs tied for the largest leap in that group of teams as Ohio State, No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 17 Tennessee and No. 21 Michigan all improved four spots.
The biggest jump overall went to No. 53 Providence after a 24-spot improvement.