2019 NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 3
NEW ORLEANS – Despite a late-season upper Midwest snowstorm last week, spring is here. The calendar now indicates it’s mid-April, meaning the outdoor track & field postseason begins across the country. For NCAA Division III, much of the serious competition remains as the winter thaw will yield more opportunities to spring ahead.
In the latest DIII National Track & Field Ratings Index (TFRI), produced by the USTFCCCA, some programs are starting to make some moves up the leaderboard while the top spots still belong to the men of North Central College and the women’s team from George Fox University. North Central has held the top spot in the regular season since the 2018 preseason ranking while George Fox is on top for the third-straight week.
The foundation of the National TFRI will shift beginning with next Tuesday’s release as all marks from previous seasons (except for combined events) will “fall off the board”, meaning those plausible placeholders among the national landscape will be replaced with only data from the 2019 outdoor season. Expect some major shifts among the nation’s top five, ten, and beyond.
NCAA Division III — Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
This Week’s National Top Five
The men of North Central (Ill.) continue to hold the nation’s top spot with 143.25 points, having improved a handful of their currently-scored personal bests at last weekend’s Benedictine Relays. In that scored meet, the Cardinals won by 98 points. Because of a shift to the schedule, NCC will be in action as soon as today (Tuesday, April 16) at Wheaton’s Don Church Twilight. Otherwise, next on the schedule for the squad is the Drake Relays.
The Blugolds of No. 2-ranked UW-Eau Claire continue to close the gap on North Central, improving their standing from an 18-point deficit to now less-than-seven. Their 4×400 squad made a notable improvement from the UW-Platteville Invitational last week, clocking a 3:17.27 that currently ranks No. 4 in the division. In addition, senior Darin Lau won the 5000 meters at the meet in a division-leading 14:21.81. UWEC is scheduled to compete in La Crosse’s Phil Esten Challenge this upcoming weekend.
Mount Union holds at No. 3, having clocked the division-leading 4×400 (3:13.99) this past weekend at Walsh. The Raiders compete at the Wittenberg Invitational on Friday.
At No. 4 and No. 5, Pomona-Pitzer and UW-La Crosse traded places from a week ago. No. 6 UW-Oshkosh and No. 9 John Carroll both jumped ahead three spots from their previous positions.
Led by double division-leading marks in the 100 (10.55) and 200 (21.07) by senior Jordan Leverette, No. 14 Baldwin Wallace gained four spots. The largest gain among the top 25 belongs to No. 20 Otterbein who gained more national leaderboard clout as a result of their 24-point margin-of-victory at last weekend’s All-Ohio DIII Championship.
NCAA Division III — Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
This Week’s National Top Five
George Fox keeps its No. 1 position for the third-straight week. The Sarah King show continues to aid the Bruins in their pursuit of a national crown. The senior added a division-leading clocking in the 800 meters (2:09.83) to her impressive ongoing career capstone. Among 2019 outdoor marks, King holds DIII’s top spots in the 800, 400 (55.01), and as a member of the 4×100 (46.39) and 4×400 (3:46.98) relays. She also holds the No. 2 wind-legal mark in the 200 (24.73) and in the division’s top ten in the 100 (12.23). GFU travels to Portland, Ore., this weekend for the Lewis & Clark Invitational.
Williams College checks in at No. 2, up a spot from a week ago thanks to gains produced from winning last weekend’s dual versus MIT, 108-76, and a strong distance-running show at Bucknell’s Bison Classic. Most notably, sophomore Kelsie Hao broke the program record and moves to No. 2 in DIII this year with a clear in the pole vault of 12 feet, 10 inches (3.91m). The Ephs host its first meet of the season this Saturday with No. 16 Middlebury, Amherst, SUNY Oneota, and WPI as guests.
Bucknell’s Bison Classic was also the site of strong middle- and long-distance performances by now-No. 3 Johns Hopkins. The preseason national TFRI No. 1 squad, jumped three spots from a week ago, led by steeplechaser Tasha Freed who notched the second-best time in the division (10:45.30).
Among the big gains this week, No. 9 Loras vaulted ahead 11 spots from 20th. No. 11 SUNY Geneseo gained eight places. No. 13 Dubuque climbed ahead five.
Linfield is new to the top-25 at No. 23 via new division leader Olivia McDaniel’s clearance of 13-1½ (4.00m) in the pole vault.
The championships portion of the schedule has begun. This weekend’s meets features the ASC, ODAC, and USA South conference championships while the combined-event portion of the Northwest Conference Championships is underway and will conclude today (Tuesday).
All of the action leads up to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 23-25 at The SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.