2022 NAIA Men’s Indoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – Here is the fifth edition of the NAIA Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index for 2022, as released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). No marks from previous seasons are used, which means this objective ranking is comprised solely of marks from the 2022 indoor track & field season.
NAIA — Men's Indoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
Grand View (Iowa)
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Indiana Tech keeps rolling along as it holds the No. 1 spot for the fifth week in a row. The Warriors won the WHAC Indoor Championships, capturing eight individual titles and both the 4×400 and 4×800 relay crowns. Coby Bailey hopped in the 60m last weekend and won with the No. 3 time in the nation (6.75). Bailey is also the national leader in the 60H. Indiana Tech’s only other No. 1 mark is the 4×400 relay team. Neville Smith jumped to No. 4 in the triple jump at 14.80m/48-6¾ on his way to winning the event. Indiana Tech has a total of 15 top-10 marks.
Dordt (Iowa) stays at No. 2 for the second week in a row. The Defenders have nine top-10 marks after just finishing second at the GPAC Indoor Championships, where they swept everything from the 600 up to the 5000, as well as the 4×800. Their DMR owns the highest mark as it’s NAIA’s second-best at 10:01.64. Payton Mauldin and Jebediah Merkle are the only two athletes sitting in the top-10 in two individual events for the Defenders. Mauldin is No. 3 in the 600 and No. 4 in the 800, while Merkle is No. 7 in the 800 and No. 8 in the 1000.
Grace (Ind.) moved up one spot from No. 4 to No. 3 in Week 5. The Lancers placed second at the Crossroads League Indoor Championships last weekend. They recorded a new No. 1 time in the 4×800 after defeating Marian (Ind.) with a time of 7:44.12. Bryan Hernandez won the 3000 (No. 10, 8:27.47) and finished runner up in the 5000 (No. 6, 14:42.43). Hernandez leads the team with three top-10 marks as he also has the ninth-best mile (4:15.30). Grace has a total of 10 top-10 marks.
Oklahoma City jumped up three spots to No. 4, making their first appearance in the top-5 this season. Zouhair Talbi has become a household name in not just NAIA, but in all of collegiate running. Last weekend at the Arkansas Qualifier, Talbi defeated two NCAA Division I stars in the 3000m: Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo and Arkansas’ Amon Kemboi. Talbi won the race and improved his No. 1 time and NAIA record to 7:40.39. Not only is that an NAIA record, but it’s also the third-fastest mark in collegiate history and the second-fastest time this season by a collegian behind Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse. Talbi also holds the No. 1 mile (3:59.50) and 5000 (13:18.17). Don’t forget about his teammate Shimales Abebe, who’s ranked No. 2 in all three events. The duo, along with Tate Smithhart and Milan Todorovic hold the No. 1 DMR (9:59.32) in NAIA as well. This gives the Stars four national-leading marks and three No. 2 marks to go along with a No. 6 effort in 1000.
Grand View (Iowa) closes out the top-5, falling two spots in Week 5. Last weekend the Vikings cruised to a dominant win in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Indoor Championships by 117.5 points. The 4×400 relay team finished first, breaking into the top-10 list with a No. 9 time of 3:17.99. Grand View currently has seven top-10 marks. Their highest mark is the No. 2 DMR (7:48.03). Isaiah Wittrock has the Vikings highest individual mark with the No. 4 1000 (2:28.49).
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 3: No. 6 Friends (Kan.), No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 8 Huntington (Ind.), No. 9 Marian (Ind.) and No. 10 Southeastern (Fla.).
Mark your calendar for March 3-5, as that’s when the 2022 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held at the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, South Dakota!