2021 NCAA DI Men’s Indoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 2
NEW ORLEANS – It had been 336 days since Oregon last competed.
The Ducks certainly made up for lost time this past weekend at the Razorback Invitational as they broke a collegiate record, set an all-time world best, tallied four collegiate-leading marks and posted eight performances that rank among the top-8 nationally. All told, Oregon headlines Week 2 of the NCAA Division I Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index that was released on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
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Behind the Ducks, only two programs from the top-5 in Week 1 remain in Week 2: Arkansas dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 and LSU held steady at No. 3. Elsewhere in the top-5, Texas Tech jumped two spots from No. 6 to No. 4 and Florida State followed suit from No. 7 to No. 5.
Where else could you start with Oregon than its Distance Medley Relay quartet? For the second year in a row, the Ducks lowered the collegiate record in the event: This time by more than five seconds to 9:19.24 and took down a near five-year-old all-time world best set by Team USA. On top of that, three of those athletes who competed on that relay team fared exceptionally well as an individual: Charlie Hunter doubled back to run 3:54.54 in the mile to match the fourth best performer and the fourth best performance in collegiate history; Cooper Teare and Cole Hocker went 7:46.10 and 7:46.44 in the 3000, respectively, for the top-2 marks in nation currently.
Oregon also saw strong performances from a pair of debutants: Micah Williams in the 60 and Emmanuel Ihmeje in the triple jump. Williams took over the national lead in the 60 with his time of 6.56, while Ihmeje bounded his way into the top-3 nationally at 16.41m (53-10¼).
Arkansas got a big boost from its heptathletes this past weekend inside the Randal Tyson Track Center. Markus Ballengee, Etamar Bhastekar and Daniel Spejcher now rank second (5827), fifth (5680) and ninth (5508), respectively in the multi. The Razorbacks also saw a few new names added to the national top-10: Jalen Brown in the 400 (46.56), Kiernan Taylor in the 800 (1:48.66) and Gilbert Boit in the 3000 (7:53.62), among others.
JuVaughn Harrison debuted in the high jump this past weekend at the LSU Louisiana Invitational and reminded the nation just how good he is at the event. Harrison, the 2019 NCAA Outdoor champion, cleared 2.28m (7-5¾) to take over the national lead. It was just a few weeks ago that Harrison put himself among the top-3 individuals in the long jump at 7.98m (26-2¼).
Texas Tech made its way back into the top-5 behind Gabriel Oladipo’s big weekend. Oladipo, a freshman, put together a great series in the weight throw at the Texas Tech Invitational. Two of his throws went past 22.00m (72-2), including a 22.43m (73-7¼) heave on his fourth attempt that is now tied for second nationally with Israel Oloyede of Arizona, who was runner-up.
Florida State owns two national-leading marks and three others that take up residence in the national top-5. Trey Cunningham and Isaac Grimes headline the 60H (7.64) and long jump (8.18m/26-10), while Kasaun James and Don’drea Swint both sit top-5 in the 60 at No. 2 (6.57) and No. 4 (6.63), respectively. Not to be outdone, Jeremiah Davis is a distant second to Grimes on the Descending Order List in the long jump at 7.99m (26-2¾).
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 2: No. 6 Ole Miss (up 26 spots), No. 7 North Carolina A&T (down 5 spots), No. 8 Tennessee (down 3 spots), No. 9 Georgia (up 13 spots), No. 10 Texas A&M (up 1 spot).
Remember: The 2021 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held March 11-13 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.