2020 NCAA DI Men’s Indoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – Based solely on entries to the 2020 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, which are set to begin Friday at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the National Rating Index expects a hard-fought battle for the men’s team title, but top-ranked LSU, second-ranked Northern Arizona and third-ranked Oregon separated themselves from the pack thanks to their stellar efforts to this point of the season.
This will be the first time that the indoor meet will be held at altitude since 2013.
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LSU comes into the meet tied for the second most entries with 10. The Tigers, who are seeking to win their first NCAA indoor title since 2004, own five top-5 marks nationally, including the national-leading mark in the 200 from Terrance Laird and two of the top-3 marks in the long jump from JuVaughn Harrison (No. 2) and Rayvon Grey (No. 3).
Northern Arizona also has 10 entries into the meet and is relying on the prowess of its distance corps to capture its first indoor national title in program history. The Lumberjacks aren’t a stranger to winning national titles in distance-centric arenas, as they went back-to-back-to-back in cross country from 2016 to 2018. Geordie Beamish (mile, 3000), Tyler Day (3000, 5000) and Luis Grijalva (3000, 5000) will all double with Day and Grijalva being two of five athletes from NAU competing in the 5000.
Oregon has the most entries out of any men’s team with 11. The Ducks are chasing their fifth indoor national title in program history and have a balanced attack with athletes entered across eight events. You’ll see a majority of Oregon’s athletes in the mid-distance and distance events (eight entries) and Isaiah Griffith holding it down in the long jump and triple jump.
Texas owns seven entries that could help it makes its fifth podium in program history or even tie or better its previous best placing of third in 2007 and 2008. The fourth-ranked Longhorns have four national top-5 marks, including a pair of No. 2 ranks thanks to Micaiah Harris in the 200 and Adrian Piperi in the shot put. O’Brien Wasome is double entered in the long jump and triple jump.
Georgia eyes its third podium finish in program history and has seven entries. The fifth-ranked Bulldogs are loaded in the heptathlon with the top-3 athletes – Johannes Erm (No. 1), Karel Tilga (No. 2) and Kyle Garland (No. 3) and have another top-5 mark in the 200 from Matthew Boling.
Florida sits slightly off the pace at No. 6 and is always a threat when there are trophies to be raised. Right now, Mike Holloway’s team is peaking at the right time. The two-time defending champions have nine entries into the meet spread across eight different events. Clayton Brown and Jonathan Miller are the only Gators double-entered in an event (triple jump), while Raymond Ekevwo is the national leader in the 60.
No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 8 Florida State, No. 9 Iowa State and No. 10 Tennessee all remained in their spots from the previous week and could make the podium if the stars align. The Aggies have little room for error with just five entries, while the Seminoles and Cyclones need big efforts from their athletes in the 60 Hurdles and 800, respectively. The Volunteers only have four entries, three of them reside among the national leaders with Carey McLeod sitting No. 1 and No. 2 in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, and Darryl Sullivan headlining the nation in the high jump.
Seven other teams improved one spot since Week 6: No. 11 Southern California, No. 19 Wisconsin, No. 20 Kansas, No. 21 Virginia Tech, No. 22 Kentucky, No. 23 Alabama and No. 24 South Dakota.
Be sure to check back later this week as we’ll have MUCH MORE on the 2020 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships!