2019 NCAA DI Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 8
NEW ORLEANS – Welcome to the start of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field postseason!
Later this week, athletes will fight for championship berths into the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at one of two regional sites.
READ MORE: The Road to Austin Begins Here!
Those in the East Region will head to Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, while those in the West Region make their way to Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California.
With the qualifiers known for both the East & West Preliminary Rounds, it’s time to look at the penultimate edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Rating Index. It only features marks from athletes who qualified for NCAAs, giving us a near-perfect picture of what to expect in just a few weeks in Austin, Texas (We’ll get the best look after this weekend).
NCAA Division I — Men's Outdoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
All TFRI Reports
The top-3 teams in the nation remained the same from Week 7 as Texas Tech continues to hold down the top spot, followed by second-ranked LSU and third-ranked Florida. The Red Raiders secured 27 entries to the NCAA postseason, while the Tigers and the Gators reeled in 25 and 26, respectively.
Texas A&M jumped one spot to No. 4 entering the postseason. The Aggies, who have 25 entries into the NCAA West Preliminary Round, own six top-5 national marks, including the No. 1 man in the 800 (Devin Dixon) and the 3-4-5 athletes in the 400H (Infinite Tucker, Robert Grant and Ilolo Izu).
Oregon is back in the top-5 for only the ninth time in the past three years after making 33 consecutive appearances between 2013 and 2016. The Ducks, who will be taking 28 entries with them to Sacramento, California, will be led by Cravon Gillespie and Max Vollmer. Gillespie is ranked No. 3 in the 100, No. 4 in the 200 and a member of the fourth-ranked 4×100 relay team, while Vollmer has a free pass to Austin in the decathlon.
BYU dropped two spots from No. 4 to No. 6 despite tying for the most entries out of any men’s program. The Cougars punched 34 tickets to the NCAA West Preliminary Round, as did UCLA which climbed three spots from No. 21 to N0. 18 this week.
Alabama might only be tied for the 15th most entries to the NCAA Preliminary Round, but the squad is making those entries count. The Crimson Tide rolled from No. 10 to No. 8 between Week 7 and Week 8 and will have a strong contingent led by 10,000-meter runner Alfred Chelanga, high jumper Shelby McEwen and discus thrower Kord Ferguson.
The aforementioned Bruins were one of three teams to hurdle three spots in the most recent TFRI. UCLA is joined by Arizona (No. 14 to No. 11) and Texas (No. 17 to No. 14).
Here’s a fun fact: The Wildcats haven’t been ranked this high, this late in the season, since 2012 when they were sixth. Arizona is looking for continued success from the talented trio of Jordan Geist, Carlos Villarreal and Justice Summerset. Geist is the national leader in the shot put, while Villarreal and Summerset are ranked second and fourth in the 1500 and high jump, respectively.
There are two teams knocking on the door of the top-25 after taking big steps since Week 7: No. 27 Purdue (up five spots) and No. 28 Indiana (up two spots).
No team improved its positioning better than San Francisco and Wake Forest. The Dons went from No. 140 to No. 113 – an increase of 27 spots – while the Demon Deacons went from No. 195 to No. 159 – an increase of 26 spots.
The next release of the National TFRI will be on May 28 after the conclusion of the NCAA East & West Preliminary Rounds, so we know which athletes are headed to the Lone Star State.