2020 NCAA DII Women’s Indoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – With the preseason poll being released over a month ago and a few weeks of solid competition, the first week of the NCAA Division II Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday, already has a much different look.
While Grand Valley State and Lincoln (Mo.) remain locked in at No. 1 and No. 2 the rest of the top-5 has a new look and many teams are setting program bests as competition begins to ramp up and we head into February.
NCAA Division II — Women's Indoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
Grand Valley State
All TFRI Reports
The Lakers have been ranked No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year in the first week of the National Rating Index. The distance team continues to be a strong part of the Lakers squad, as Allie Ludge has the top time in the 3000 at 9:18.04 and three of the top-6 performances in the 5000 with Hannah Groeber (No. 3), Jessica Gockley (No. 5), and Natalie Graber (No. 6). Two of the top-3 marks in the weight throw also belong to the Lakers – Bobbie Goodwin is the national leader at 67’-10.75”, and Franesha Robinson-Mitchell is ranked third. In the sprints, Nicole Sreenan is contributing in three events – she is ranked second in the 400, sixth in the 60, and seventh in the 200.
The Blue Tigers have a force in Rene Medley as she sits stop the 200 performance list and is ranked second in the 60. The 4×400 relay also owns the top time of the year so far. Also on the track, the duo of Christine Moss and Kissi-Ann Brown sit at No. 4 and No. 5 in the 400, respectively, while Kelly-Ann Beckford has the fifth fastest time in the mile.
Northwest Missouri State achieved a program record as the Bearcats come in at No. 3 for their first top-5 appearance to climb up 11 spots. A huge contributor to the Bearcats climb is Hiba Mahgoub, who owns the top time in the 400, ranked second in the 200, and is part of the second-fastest 4×400 relay in the season. Audrey Wichmann is also ranked No. 4 in the high jump for the Bearcats.
Climbing up nine spots into the No. 4 position is Minnesota State. The Mavericks have seen strong performances in the sprints, as Makayla Jackson and Ja’Cey Simmons are tied for the third best performance in the 60 at 7.50. Simmons is also ranked No. 5 in the 300 meters. Katie Taylor (No. 2) and Kaylee Jensen (No. 5) are two of the top performers in the weight throw.
One of the biggest movers of the week and moving to No. 5 for the program’s highest national ranking is Indianapolis, climbing 44 spots from No. 49 in the preseason rankings. The Gryhounds are boosted with performances by Berenice Cleyet-Merle, who has the fastest time in the country in the mile and sits at No. 4 time in the 800. Lauren Bailey is also one of the top performers for the Greyhounds, as she is ranked No. 2 in the 5000 and No. 4 in the 3000.
Also achieving a program best placement is Tiffin, making a 15-spot jump from No. 21 to No. 6. Sophomore Marisa Gwinner is the top performer for the Dragons, having cleared 5’ 9.25” in the high jump to put herself in a tie for the top clearance of the season. Brenda Johnson and Nicole Berry are also ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the shot put, respectively.
Southwest Baptist improved three spots to No. 7. The Bearcats biggest contributor is Elysia Burgos, who has the second-best performance in the mile and ranked No. 6 in the 800. Tamia Rayford owns the No. 3 mark in the long jump, while Meleah Ridenour is ranked No. 3 in the pentathlon.
A 43-spot jump from No. 52 puts Lee (Tenn.) at No. 9 for their highest ranking in program history. Celine Ritter is ranked in the top-5 in three events – the 3000 (No. 2), the mile (No. 4), and is part of the distance medley relay that is currently ranked second.
Two schools making significant jumps in the National Rating Index are American International and Colorado Mesa. The Yellow Jackets climbed 50 spots to sit at No. 18 and gained a big boost from Roxan Foster, as she currently holds the No. 3 time in the 60 Hurdles. The Mavericks made the biggest improvement this week with a 57 spot jump up to No. 23 for their best placement since 2015. Their top performer is Kiana Jackson, as the sophomore has the third best triple jump of the season.
The next edition of the National Rating Index will be released on Monday, February 3.