2019 NCAA DI Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 9
NEW ORLEANS – And then there was only one.
That is how track & field fans, athletes and coaches alike are feeling as the conference championships and NCAA Division I East and West Preliminary Rounds are officially in the books, with only the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships left in the season, beginning Wednesday, June 5 at Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Before we head to the Lone Star State, it’s a perfect time to take a look at the final edition of the NCAA Division I Women’s National Rating Index, released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday, which serves as the official team preview.
Remember: This is the Pre-Championships Edition of the National Rating Index, which means that the formula only used marks from those athletes who qualified for the biggest meet of the season.
NCAA Division I — Women's Outdoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
All TFRI Reports
It should come with little surprise that the pre-meet favorite is Arkansas, as the program has held in the No. 1 spot in the National Rating Index for the six consecutive week.
The Razorbacks enter NCAAs with a nation-leading 17 entries throughout its roster. Headlining the talented group is Janeek Brown (tops the nation in the 100H and second in the 200), pole vaulters Tori Hoggard (third overall) and Lexi Jacobs (seventh), Kethlin Campbell (second in the 400) and Payton Chadwick (fourth in the 100H). The team also boasts the No. 4 ranked 4×100 and No. 5 4×400 teams, just for good measure, as the team has athletes spread out between the sprints, mid-distance, distance, pole vault, relays and long jump disciplines.
The last time Arkansas won the outdoor national crown was in 2016. The team finished 11th overall just a year ago and look to have came back with a vengeance as they push towards another title.
Don’t sleep on the defending champions, who sit No. 2: Southern California. The Women of Troy have the speed to match any team in the country in the sprints and hurdles.
Who could forget how they took the track world by storm in capturing last year’s outdoor championship?
Southern California is looking for the repeat behind the performances of Anglerne Annelus (tops in the 200 and ninth in the 100), TeeTee Terry (ranked second in the 100 and 15th in the 200), Chanel Brissett (third in the 100H) and Anna Cockrell (fourth in the 400H and eighth in the 100H). The program also has the fourth and sixth-ranked 4×100 and 4×400 units, respectivley, and have a grand total of 13 entries into the meet.
A team peaking at the right time is No. 3 Florida State, as the program jumped up four spots from its previous ranking after getting top performances at the NCAA East Prelims.
The Seminoles have 11 entries into the meet and will look for the majority of its scoring to come from Ka’Tia Seymour (qualified in both the 100 and 200), Shanice Love (third overall in the discus), Cortney Jones (fifth in the hurdles) to go with their sixth-ranked 4×100 unit.
Currently ranked in the fourth spot is Texas A&M. The Aggies are after their first outdoor national title since 2014.
They will look towards their leaders in Jazmine Fray (top-ranked 800 athlete), Ciynamon Stevenson (second in the nation in the triple), Syaira Richardson (third overall in the 400) and Tyra Gittens (fourth in the high jump and sixth in the heptathlon) for scoring. The 4×400 unit also comes into NCAAs as the fourth-ranked squad in the country.
Another program that is starting to hit its stride at the right time is No. 5 Alabama, as the team climbed up six spots for its best rank in program history, with official USTFCCCA data dating back to 2008.
The Tide qualified 16 entries into nationals, with the best of the bunch including Portious Warren (leads the country in the shot), Kiara Williams (fifth in the long jump) and Tamara Clark (qualified in both the 100 and 200), among others. Both their 4×100 and 4×400 groups are ranked third in the nation.
Sixth-ranked LSU has been making noise in the SEC all season as the group is led by ultra-talented freshman Sha’Carri Richardson (second in the nation in the 100 and seventh in the 200) and Milan Young (qualified in both the 100 and 400 hurdles). The Tigers’ 4×100 unit will enter the meet as the No. 2 squad in the country.
New Mexico will look to get all of their scoring from its distance program with Adva Cohen (third overall in the steeple and 5000), Weini Kelati (second in the 10,000 and also qualified for the 5000), Ednah Kurgat (third in the 10,000) and Charlotte Prouse (in both the steeple and 5000). The best the Lady Lobos have ever finished at outdoor nationals was 15th back in 2016, a mark that looks to be in great jeopardy.
The rest of the top-10 was rounded out by familiar faces in Oregon (15 entries), Kentucky (11) and Florida (10).
The biggest leap in the rankings of any top-25 program after the preliminary rounds belonged to No. 25 Oklahoma State and No. 11 Stanford as the Cowgirls climbed up 14 spots and the Cardinal advanced 13. Stanford has 10 entries into the meet while Oklahoma State has four in total.
Overall, the 2019 NCAA DI Outdoor Championships will feature at least one athlete from 144 different women’s programs nationwide.