Jumbled NCAA DI Women’s Rankings Find Arkansas On Top After First Month
NEW ORLEANS — The first month of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field season wreaked havoc on the National Team Computer Rankings, at least on the women’s side.
Only four teams from the preseason edition of the rankings remained in place when the newest version was released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
What about the 21 other teams that comprise the top-25? Well, the computers decided to play a game of "Boggle" with them and when the pieces settled, Arkansas settled into the top spot.
The Razorbacks, ranked third in the preseason, gained 45.54 points and own a healthy lead over second-ranked Southern California (299.42-258.23). This is the fourth time in program history that Arkansas is ranked No. 1, adding to the string of three consecutive top billings from Week 5 to Week 7 last year.
Previous No. 1 LSU fell two spots to No. 3, while Texas jumped three spots to No. 4. Rounding out the top-5, staying in place from the preseason, is Texas A&M.
Three big performances from this past weekend allowed the Razorbacks to knock their SEC rival from the throne.
Taliyah Brooks and Payton Stumbaugh got it going early as they competed in the heptathlon at the legendary Texas Relays. Brooks and Stumbaugh led a 1-2-3 sweep by Arkansas (Alex Gochenour finished third) and are now ranked sixth (5991) and seventh (5985), respectively, on the USTFCCCA Individual Rankings (IR).
Out west, Dominique Scott ran an NCAA-leading time in the 5000 (15:25.10) at the Stanford Invitational and is ranked second behind Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe on the IR. Scott is also ranked second at 1500 meters and third at 10,000 meters.
The USTFCCCA Individual Rankings are a combination of yearly bests and are only used until there is enough data from the current season to comb through.
Jaide Stepter had a major hand in propeling the Women of Troy up two spots from the preseason. Stepter’s 400-meter time of 50.91 that she ran two weeks ago has her ranked second behind Texas’ Courtney Okolo.
Let’s not discount what Tera Novy‘s discus throw of 59.90m (196-6) this past weekend did for Southern Cal either.
Neither LSU or Texas made serious headway on the IR yet, but the Longhorns’ 4×400 team ran a blistering time at the Texas Relays. The quartet of Chrisann Gordon, Ariel Jones, Morolake Akinosun and Okolo crossed the finish line in 3:26.54, beating runner-up Arkansas to the tape by nearly six seconds.
The biggest mover in a team sense this week was Harvard. The Crimson surged 25 spots to 12th — their loftiest ranking in program history (previous best was 37th) — behind Courtney Smith‘s incredible 10,000 run (32:08.32) that put her first in the rankings and Paige Kouba‘s effort in the steeplechase (4th, 9:50.21).
Harvard is one of three new additions to the top-25. Joining the Crimson are 17th-ranked Tennessee and 21st-ranked Auburn.
And in case you’re wondering, the four teams that stayed in place were the aforementioned Aggies, No. 9 Kentucky, No. 11 Mississippi State and No. 13 Stanford.
The 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held June 8-11 in Eugene, Oregon. A lot can change between now and then, so be sure to check back throughout the season to see how the rankings evolve.
Women’s Indoor 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||Arkansas||299.42||SEC||Lance Harter (26th)||3|
|2||Southern California||258.23||Pac-12||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||4|
|3||LSU||247.98||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||1|
|4||Texas||242.91||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||7|
|5||Texas A&M||240.19||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||5|
|6||Oregon||227.12||Pac-12||Robert Johnson (4th)||2|
|7||Georgia||225.56||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||6|
|8||Florida||217.71||SEC||Mike Holloway (9th)||10|
|9||Kentucky||216.50||SEC||Edrick Floreal (4th)||9|
|10||Kansas State||192.45||Big 12||Cliff Rovelto (24th)||8|
|11||Mississippi State||168.01||SEC||Steve Dudley (6th)||11|
|12||Harvard||138.19||Ivy||Jason Saretsky (10th)||37|
|13||Stanford||133.43||Pac-12||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||13|
|14||Oklahoma||119.79||Big 12||Jim VanHootegem (3rd)||12|
|15||Miami (Fla.)||117.47||ACC||Amy Deem (26th)||21|
|16||Baylor||104.18||Big 12||Todd Harbour (11th)||19|
|17||Tennessee||99.40||SEC||Beth Alford-Sullivan (2nd)||27|
|18||New Mexico||98.18||Mountain West||Joe Franklin (9th)||17|
|19||Notre Dame||94.89||ACC||Alan Turner (2nd)||15|
|20||Virginia Tech||92.98||ACC||Dave Cianelli (15th)||18|
|21||Auburn||90.62||SEC||Ralph Spry (19th)||26|
|22||Florida State||90.07||ACC||Bob Braman (13th)||14|
|23||Oklahoma State||88.38||Big 12||Dave Smith (7th)||24|
|24||Michigan||81.47||Big Ten||James Henry (31st)||22|
|25||Michigan State||80.96||Big Ten||Walt Drenth (10th)||20|
|dropped out: No. 16 Ohio State, No. 23 Alabama, No. 25 Wisconsin|
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|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
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