NEW ORLEANS — In the first regular national indoor team computer rankings of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for NCAA Division I teams, the men of LSU moved to No. 1 despite losing to No. 3 Texas A&M in a dual meet between the schools Saturday. On the women’s side, the top three spots remain unchanged as Oregon lost little ground regardless of a light start to the season.
LSU’s improved their national-championship potential – the basis of the computer rankings – over the last two weeks with the nation’s current top performances in the 60 meters and long jump. Sophomore Horatio Williams is currently No. 1 on the 2011 60-meter list with a 6.61 run from two weeks ago. Williams also has the third-best 200 (20.86) of the current collegiate season. Long jumpers Zedric Thomas and Damar Forbes sit one-two on the national performance list as the only in the country to go over the eight-meter mark (26-3) so far this season.
LSU’s men have never been ranked No. 1 indoors using the current national ranking system. The Tigers were No. 1 during five weeks of the 2008 outdoor season. LSU won national indoor championships in 2001 and 2004.
Oregon, Texas A&M, and LSU remain 1-2-3 in the women’s rankings. Oregon’s lone improvement over preseason data thus far in 2011 has come from freshman English Gardner in the 60. Her time of 7.29 is No. 7 among 2011 performances and 15th in scored data.
Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard is the outright national leader in the 200 and 400 after 22.95 and 52.97 runs last weekend in the dual with LSU. Beard was third in the 400 at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The SEC is currently No. 1 among all conferences in cumulative points among both men’s and women’s national rankings. The Big 12 has the most squads in the national top 25 with eight men’s and six women’s teams.