2021 NCAA DII Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – It’s great to be back outdoors!
Grand Valley State will headline the first edition of the NCAA Division II Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Rating Index, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday afternoon.
No. 1 Grand Valley State holds a very slim margin over No. 2 West Texas A&M, followed by No. 3 Ashland, No. 4 Angelo State and No. 5 UC-Colorado Springs.
NCAA Division II — Men's Outdoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
Grand Valley State
West Texas A&M
All TFRI Reports
The Lakers will kick off the outdoor season as the top-ranked team for the first time in program history. With 14 total top-10 nationally ranked efforts through the first two weeks of competition, nine of them are ranked in the top-5. Dennis Mbuta has a claim to two of them, as he is the national leader in the 800 (1:48.24) and is No. 4 in the 1500. The duo of Isaac Harding and Tanner Chada sit at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the 10,000. In the field events, Jacob Battani returns in the pole vault with his No. 3 national ranking, and Justin Scavarda has the fourth-best mark in the shot put. Other top performers for the Lakers with No. 4 rankings include Jonathon Groendyk in the 800, Enael Woldemichael in the 5000 and Jackson Blanchard in the 400H.
The second-ranked Buffalos are off to a fast start to the outdoor season and have three national leading marks: Benjamin Azamati is the collegiate leader in the 100 after his blistering 9.97 at the Texas Relays that set the NCAA Division II record; Dhanushka Sandaruwan in the long jump (7.72m/25-4); Peniel Richard in the triple jump (15.54m/51-0). West Texas A&M also boasts several other top-5 nationally ranked athletes in their respective events. Owning No. 2 marks are Butare Rugenerwa in the 800, Tyrin Lewis in the 110H and Guillaume Devries in the high jump. Ezekiel Kipchirchir is also ranked No. 3 in the steeplechase.
Less than ten computed points behind is No. 3 Ashland with 13 top-10 nationally ranked marks. The Eagles are aiming to get back atop the outdoor podium like they did in 2019. No surprise here – Trevor Bassitt clocked the national leading marks in the 110 (13.59) and 400H (49.34) to become the No. 5 and No. 8 performers all-time in NCAA DII history, respectively. Bassitt was also part of the 4×100 that clocked the fastest time of the season (40.08). Alex Hill makes his return to the outdoor campaign with the No. 2 mark in the hammer and No. 4 in the discus, while Brent Fairbanks joins Hill as the third-best hammer thrower of the early season.
Angelo State will debut at No. 4 with nine top-10 nationally ranked marks. Three of those marks are national leaders: Decio Andrade in the hammer (69.11m/226-9); Devoux Deysel in the javelin (73.82m/242-2); the 4×400 relay (3:12.85). Adding other top-performances include Cason Brown in the discus (No. 5) and the 4×100 with the second fastest time of the season.
With a program best ranking, UC-Colorado Springs will be making its first appearance in the top-5 in the outdoor National TFRI. The Mountain Lions amassed 12 nationally-ranked top-10 efforts in the first two weeks of competition, with six of them sitting in the top-5 of the Descending Order List. Pacing the team with two top-5 efforts is William Ross, as he is No. 2 in the long jump and No. 5 in the triple jump. Afewerki Zeru is second in the 5000, Justice Mendoza is third in the 200, Skye Ciccarelli is fourth in the high jump, and Charlie Forbes is fifth in the 110H.
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 1: No. 6 Harding, No. 7 Tiffin, No. 8 Queens (N.C.), No. 9 Lee (Tenn.) and No. 10 Missouri Southern.
The 2021 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships are set for May 27-29 in Allendale, Michigan, hosted by Grand Valley State.