2023 NAIA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 8
NEW ORLEANS – Get your schedules ready. It’s about to go down.
With the 2023 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships getting underway next week, here are the top teams in the NAIA Women’s National TFRI, as released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA): British Columbia at No. 1, William Carey (Miss.) at No. 2, Life (Ga.) at No. 3, Indiana Tech at No. 4, and Huntington (Ind.) at No. 5.
Only marks from the current outdoor track and field season have been used in this objective compilation.
NAIA — Women's Outdoor Track & Field
This Week's National Top Five
William Carey (Miss.)
All TFRI Reports
British Columbia is the odds-on favorite to defend their national title. Rebecca Dutchak turned in a strong heptathlon performance at the CCC Conference Championships this weekend, scoring 4845 points that is good enough for second in the NAIA. But with the Thunderbirds holding the top spot, second spot, or both in every distance event from 1500 meters through 10,000 meters, which includes a 1-2-3-4 barrage from their 5000-meter crew, look for the team to conquer the distance events by putting up point, after point, after point.
Sitting in a distant second as far as TFRI points are concerned is William Carey (Miss.). Although most of the squad has not competed since the Southern States Athletic Conference Championships on April 22, the Crusaders still continue to sit in a good spot, as they have NAIA No. 1’s from Salieci Myles in the 100-meter hurdles (13.31) and the 4x400m relay (3:46.18). Fellow hurdler Joy Abu is a significant part of the 4x400m relay, as she also owns third and second-ranked marks in the 100H (13.48) and 400-meter hurdles (59.74), respectively.
Life (Ga.) comes in a not-too-distant third this week. Another team that has had time off to heal up before championship action gets underway next week, the Running Eagles head into the national meet with one top-ranked performance in the sprints (Talayla Davis’ 100-meter time of 11.52), and one in the throws (Jennifer Batu’s top hammer throw of 58.82m/193-0). Davis will also be contributing to a highly-touted 4x100m relay squad next week, one that currently ranks second in the NAIA in 45.87.
While Indiana Tech may not be the dominant force they were in the past several indoor seasons and in the 2021 (national champions) and 2022 (runners-up) outdoor seasons, the fourth-ranked Warriors still have the potential to do some damage at NAIAs next week. Most recently, the Warriors turned in a top-ranked 4x100m relay time of 45.76, which happens to be the team’s only top-ranked event. They make a strong case for the strongest and most exciting relay group going into next week, with their second-ranked 4x400m relay squad also in the neighborhood (3:47.89).
Huntington (Ind.) picked the perfect time to make its first appearance in the TFRI this season, one week before the national championships in their home state. Freshman mid-distance sensation Addy Wiley is a big reason why the Foresters are where they are currently. Wiley ran a top-ranked 800-meter time of 2:05.18 at the Crossroads League Outdoor Championships, the meet at which the team most recently competed. She also ranks first in the 1500 meters (4:12.53), as she looks to add on to her collection of five national titles that she previously won during the indoor season.
Rounding out the top-10 teams going into the season’s final week are Cumberland (Tenn.) at No. 6, Southeastern (Fla.) at No. 7, Concordia (Neb.) at No. 8, Eastern Oregon at No. 9, and College of Idaho at No. 10.
Get ready for the 2023 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Marion, Indiana, which are set to begin next Wednesday, May 24, and conclude Friday, May 26.