2019 NCAA DI Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 9
NEW ORLEANS – The NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Postseason Checklist is almost complete.
Conference Championship Weekend is long gone.
The NCAA DI East & West Preliminary Rounds just wrapped up.
All that’s left is the NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships, set to begin Wednesday, June 5 at Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Before we get to the Lone Star State, it’s time for the final look at the National Rating Index, as it was released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). This is the Pre-Championships Edition and only uses marks from those athletes who qualified for the biggest meet of the season.
NCAA Division I — Men's Outdoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
All TFRI Reports
Texas Tech is the overwhelming favorite to bring back the first national title in school history thanks to a staggering number of quality entries to the final site. The Red Raiders punched 19 tickets to Austin with 10 of them being ranked in the top-5 of their respective events on the Descending Order List. Star sprinter Divine Oduduru has two of them with top-ranked marks in the 100 (9.94) and 200 (19.76), while Andrew Hudson (200), Eric Kicinski (discus) and Odaine Lewis (long jump) are all slotted in at No. 2 in their respective events.
Florida has been a force on the national stage over the past decade with four national titles and five runner-up finishes since 2009. It’s easy to see why the second-ranked Gators could very well add to those numbers in 2019. Florida enters the meet with 16 entries, of which five are billed in the top-5 of the Descending Order List. Individual who are expected to put up big points for the Gators include Grant Holloway in the 110 Meter Hurdles and long jump, Hakim Sani Brown in the 100 and Thomas Mardal in the hammer throw.
LSU seeks its 19th podium finish in program history and has the firepower to do it. The Tigers bring 13 entries to Austin, which includes top-ranked individuals in Mondo Duplantis (pole vault) and JuVaughn Harrison (long jump), as well as the No. 1 4×100 relay team. Harrison is also ranked fifth in the high jump, while Jaron Flournoy has come on late in the 200.
BYU hopes to make its 11th podium in program history by brute force. The Cougars qualified 16 entries with two or more in three events, including an NCAA-record six in the 10,000. That’s not a typo: BYU will have six men in next Wednesday’s final. No program has ever put more than five athletes in a single NCAA final until now.
Texas A&M makes the short trip from College Station to Austin with 12 entries. The fifth-ranked Aggies own four entries that are ranked in the top-5 of the Descending Order List, including national leader Devin Dixon in the 800 and the top-ranked 4×400 relay. Robert Grant and Infinite Tucker will be looked upon to score big points in the 400 Meter Hurdles.
One program whose stock continued to rise throughout the postseason is that of Oregon. The Ducks have 15 entries to the final site, but only three are ranked in the top-3 overall. Oregon is hoping to see strong performances out of Cravon Gillespie in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay, as well as Max Vollmer in the decathlon.
Houston held steady at No. 7 after an up-and-down weekend in Sacramento. The Cougars were buoyed by the performances of Mario Burke, Obi Igbokwe, Trumaine Jefferson, Quivell Jordan, Amere Lattin and Kahmari Montgomery, who all notched season-best efforts over the three-day competition.
Other top-10 teams in the Pre-Championships Edition of the National Rating Index include No. 8 Texas, No. 9 Southern California and No. 10 North Carolina A&T.
The Longhorns, who soared from No. 14 to No. 8, were one of eight teams to jump three or more spots based off their efforts in the Preliminary Round. South Carolina went from No. 23 to No. 15, UCLA went from No. 18 to No. 11, Arkansas went from No. 26 to No. 20, Indiana went from No. 28 to No. 22, defending national champion Georgia went from No. 17 to No. 13, Virginia went from No. 15 to No. 12 and Kentucky went from No. 21 to No. 18.