Florida Men Overtake Oregon Atop NCAA DI National Rankings
NOTE: The first edition of the Regional Team Index for the 2016 season has been released, including only marks achieved during this current season. For more information, see the sidebar below.
NEW ORLEANS – Two-time defending national men’s champion Oregon may have kicked off the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field campaign two weeks ago as relatively strong preseason favorites, but a lot can happen in the span of 12 days.
Based on both the strength of returners from a year ago and impressive breakthrough performances at this weekend’s Florida Relays, the Florida Gators have assumed an early and narrow lead over the Ducks in the first regular-season edition of the National Team Computer Rankings announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The Gators, who last stood atop the NCAA track & field world in 2013, checked in with 270.84 points, just narrowly ahead of No. 2 Oregon at 263.69. Florida moved up two spots, displacing both Oregon and No. 3 Texas A&M (231.69) by one spot each.
Texas (226.34) also benefitted from a home relay meet – the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays – to jump three spots to No. 4, while LSU (202.71) dropped one to No. 5.
The Florida Relays proved quite successful for the Gators, with three men jumping into or improving their standing inside the top 10 of the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings in their respective events. These lists take into account both the best marks of the current 2016 campaign and the top marks from previous seasons by returning athletes.
Andres Arroyo bounced back from a disappointing 15th-place effort in the 800-meter semifinals at the NCAA Indoor Championships to run a career-best 1:45.78 (good for the 2016 college lead and No. 3 on the USTFCCCA list), while freshman quarter-miler Kunle Fasasi raced to a 45.43 for the 2016 college lead and the No. 4 spot on the USTFCCCA list.
Fasasi gives Florida three of the top four 400-meter runners on the USTFCCCA list, joining No. 1 Najee Glass and No. 3 Hugh Graham, Jr. The health and fitness of Arman Hall, a multiple-time All-American over 400 meters, is another significant x-factor for the Gators.
Keandre Bates also moved up to No. 10 in the triple jump on the USTFCCCA lists.
Since the previous edition of the rankings, junior 400-meter hurdler Eric Futch confirmed his No. 2 preseason ranking. He tied his career best two weekends ago at 49.45.
Oregon’s weekend was quiet but for a handful of distance runners at the Stanford Invitational.
Texas A&M may have fallen a spot in the rankings, but the Aggies actually boosted their team score by way of sophomores in the field events. Ioannis Kyriazis moved to No. 1 in the javelin at 81.87m (268-7), while Audie Wyatt cleared 5.65m (18-6½) in the pole vault to move up to No. 3.
Relays provided the big boost for Texas as the Longhorns earned significant points for their 4×400 relay (3:02.18) and 4×100 relay (39.18) squads, which checked in at No. 3 and No. 8 on the USTFCCCA lists, respectively. Byron Robinson also moved up to No. 3 in the 400-meter hurdles to power the Longhorns’ three-spot improvement.
Beyond the top five, Henry Wynne led No. 6 Virginia to a two-spot improvement and its highest-ever showing in the USTFCCCA rankings. Wynne checked in at No. 2 at 1500 meters on the USTFCCCA list at 3:38.35 – proving he’s got the speed to go along with the tactics that won him the indoor mile national title.
The biggest mover of the weekend among top-25 teams was No. 21 Oklahoma State, which improved 15 spots from the preseason.
No. 24 Mississippi State was next on that list with a 10-position leap.
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2016 Week #1 — April 4
|next ranking: April 11|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||Florida||270.84||SEC||Mike Holloway (14th)||3|
|2||Oregon||263.69||Pac-12||Robert Johnson (4th)||1|
|3||Texas A&M||231.69||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||2|
|4||Texas||226.34||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||7|
|5||LSU||202.71||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||4|
|6||Virginia||190.79||ACC||Bryan Fetzer (5th)||8|
|7||Arkansas||187.75||SEC||Chris Bucknam (8th)||5|
|8||Alabama||171.78||SEC||Dan Waters (5th)||6|
|9||South Carolina||137.64||SEC||Curtis Frye (20th)||10|
|10||Illinois||132.17||Big Ten||Mike Turk (7th)||9|
|11||Georgia||130.56||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||11|
|12||Texas Tech||127.11||Big 12||Wes Kittley (17th)||18|
|13||Southern California||117.78||Pac-12||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||16|
|14||Tulsa||117.62||American||Steve Gulley (14th)||15|
|15||Ohio State||110.67||Big Ten||Karen Dennis (2nd)||13|
|16||Stanford||108.68||Pac-12||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||12|
|17||Penn State||108.01||Big Ten||John Gondak (2nd)||19|
|18||Colorado||103.02||Pac-12||Mark Wetmore (21st)||22|
|19||Virginia Tech||101.29||ACC||Dave Cianelli (15th)||14|
|20||North Carolina||100.82||ACC||Harlis Meaders (4th)||17|
|21||Oklahoma State||99.22||Big 12||Dave Smith (8th)||36|
|22||Middle Tennessee||88.30||Conference USA||Dean Hayes (52nd)||21|
|23||Penn||80.41||Ivy||Steve Dolan (4th)||27|
|24||Mississippi State||78.82||SEC||Steve Dudley (6th)||34|
|25||TCU||78.73||Big 12||Darryl Anderson (12th)||29|
|dropped out: No. 20 BYU, No. 23 Arizona, No. 24 Louisville, No. 25 Kansas State|
|View All Teams Beyond the Top 25|
|Men’s Conference Index Top 10|
|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
|Men’s Regional Index Leaders|
|South Central||Texas A&M||765.02|
|View All Regional Rankings|