2021 NCAA DI Men’s Indoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – The men’s field is officially set for the 2021 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships later this week – Thursday, March 11 through Saturday, March 13 – at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Based on those entries, the National Rating Index projects Oregon to cruise to its fifth team title in program history – first since going back-to-back-to-back from 2014 to 2016. There should be a close battle behind the Ducks for the runner-up spot with No. 2 LSU and No.3 Arkansas, with No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Florida State contending for the final podium spot.
NCAA Division I — Men's Indoor Track & Field
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There is no question as to why Oregon is the favorite after the season it has had so far. The Ducks enter five national leaders in four individual events and one relay: Micah Williams in the 60 (6.53c/6.49A); Charlie Hunter in the 800 (1:45.59); Cole Hocker in the mile (3:50.55); Cooper Teare in the 3000 (7:46.10); distance medley relay comes in at an all-time world best of 9:19.42. Hocker will double in the 3000, an event in which is he ranked No. 2.
LSU has 12 entries across nine events, led by a trio of national leaders: Terrance Laird in the 200 (20.28); JuVaughn Harrison in both the high jump (2.28m/7-5¾) and long jump (8.33m/27-4). The Tigers are also hoping for big points from Damion Thomas and Eric Edwards Jr. in the 60H, who are ranked second and fourth, respectively, among others.
Arkansas will look to win a title by sheer brute force. The Razorbacks have a gender-high 18 entries spread across 10 events. Look for most of those entries to come in the distance events, where Arkansas has four in the 5000 and two in the 3000. Markus Ballengee and Ryan Brown are the top-ranked Razorbacks on the Descending Order List, holding down the No. 3 spot and No. 4 spot in the heptathlon and long jump, respectively.
Florida holds 10 entries, with three of them ranked among the top-3 in their respective events: Thomas Mardal in the weight throw (No. 1, 24.16m/79-3¼); Joseph Fahnbulleh in the 200 (No. 2, 20.32) and Raymond Ekevwo in the 60 (6.57). While the Gators have a different look this year, they are still the back-to-back defending champions.
Florida State won’t have to scan many events for its eight entries, as they are in just four events: Kasaun James (No. 3, 6.57), Don’Drea Swint (No. 9, 6.63) and Taylor Banks (No. 15, 6.66) are all in the 60; James (No. 6, 20.68) and JoVaughn Martin (No. 7, 20.72) will compete in the 200; Trey Cunningham leads the nation in the 60H (7.55); Isaac Grimes (No. 1, 8.33m/27-4) and Jeremiah Davis (No. 6, 7.99m/26-2¾) are in the long jump.
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 7: No. 6 Georgia, No. 7 North Carolina A&T, No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Tennessee and No. 10 Texas.