Jan. 26, 2010

Courtesy of USTFCCCA

NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday morning the first weekly update of the NCAA Division I National Team Rankings for indoor track & field. The top spots remain unchanged from the preseason rankings announced on January 5, as Florida State (135.17) remains No. 1 on the men’s board while Texas A&M (189.67) holds a commanding, and growing, lead in the women’s rankings.

MEN: Florida State Still at No. 1, Oregon Moves Up to No. 2 The Seminoles of Florida State widened their national lead just a bit over the past few weekends of action. Competing last weekend at Virginia Tech’s Hoike Invitational, long jumper Brian Chibudu, who came into the preseason ranked 27th in the long jump, improved his national standing and the possibilities of participating at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a mark of 25-7½ (7.81m), putting him third in 2010 and 10th when combined with preseason marks.

Oregon (124.74) moved up to No. 2 despite losing nearly one ranking point while Florida (120.22) moved down to No. 3, dropping just over eight rankings points by virtue of sitting mostly idle, thus allowing a few ranking points to be lost to other teams around the country.

Texas A&M was the biggest mover in the top 10, jumping four spots to No. 4 (118.10). The Aggies have kept busy the last two weekends, hosting two meets including a dual with Texas in which was won 92-64. Two week ago, transfer Demetrius Pinder blazed a world-leading 46.01 clocking at 400 meters to add to A&M’s score. Pinder came back last weekend to run a 46.03 and then went on to help the Aggies to a collegiateleading 3:05.92 time in the 4x400-meter relay. Only three teams, Florida State, Florida, and Baylor were faster in 2009.

Nebraska slipped to No. 5 (107.16) and junior Zedric Thomas’ 26-3 (8.00m) long jump helped LSU move up three spots to No. 6 (106.59). The top 10 is rounded out by No. 7 Arkansas, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 9 Oklahoma, and No. 10 Baylor.

No. 16 Indiana jumped 22 spots in the national team rankings after national-leading performances by Derek Drouin in the high jump (7-4¼, 2.24m) and freshman Andy Bayer at 3000 meters (7:55.25). No. 20 Arizona was not even in the top 100 in the preseason rankings, but the previously unknown return of jumper Luis Rivera Morales, who long jumped 25-10¼ (7.88m) last week, along with the addition of his freshman brother, Edgar, and his high jump clearance of 7-2½ (2.20m) allowed the Wildcats to climb.

The SEC, Pac-10, and Big 12 all have seven members represented in this week’s top 25.

WOMEN: On the women’s side, Texas A&M (189.67) continues to have performances worthy of national acclaim. Despite losing their side of the dual to Texas by two points following a thrilling 4x400-meter finale, the Aggie women continued to improve their national-championship roster of heavy hitters. In the 200, Texas A&M represent spots one, four, and five on the 2010 collegiate list. Porscha Lucas, 2009 finalist for The Bowerman, claimed a world-leading time of 23.06 on January 16. Jessica Beard holds the national lead in the 400 meters with last weekend’s 52.27 performance. And, the duo of Natasha Ruddock and Gabby Mayo hold the threefour spots on the 2010 collegiate 60-meter hurdle board.

Oregon (120.25) remains in second and had junior Melissa Gergel clear 14-1 ¼ (4.30m) in the pole vault two weekends ago to improve her score. No. 3 BYU (117.85) moved up from fifth as senior Mindy McClurking claimed the third-best mark of the season thus far in the long jump with a 20-9¾ (6.34m) mark.

LSU stands at No. 4 while Florida State is No. 5. No. 6 Penn State and No. 8 Tennessee both moved up four spots. Penn State junior Shavon Greaves clocked a 23.22 on January 9 as the second-best in the world at 200 meters. For the Lady Vols, it was Phoebe Wright and sophomore Chanelle Price running the two best 800-meter collegiate times in 2010 that moved Tennessee to the top 10 this week.

No. 7 Clemson, No. 9 Florida, and No. 10 Arkansas, who improved seven spots from the preseason ranking, rounds out the women’s top 10. The SEC leads the conferences with six members in the top 25. The Big 12 has four while the Pac-10, BIG EAST, and ACC have three each.

About the Rankings
The first three weeks of regular national-ranking updates include marks achieved in 2009 (preseason data) and in 2010 (current data). Preseason marks are phased out as athletes and relays achieve marks that better their preseason standing while current marks are phased in with the arrival of freshmen and the improvement of other squad members.