Oregon takes top spot in first regular-season rankings; Texas to No. 2
Despite winning its fourth-consecutive national team crown indoors last year, Oregon did so having not been ranked as the No. 1 team at any point during the 2013 season. This marks the first time atop the rankings for the Ducks since they had Division I indoor rankings in a stranglehold for 20 consecutive weeks as the top-ranked team from the middle of the 2010 season through the end of the end of 2012.
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As previously mentioned, the duo of Todd and Wallace were behind the Ducks’ rise to No. 1, accounting for 53.3 points between three events in Oregon’s 64-point improvement of its preseason mark.
No. 2 Texas, which has yet to fully open competition as a complete team, may have dropped a spot but its score remained relatively steady – within five points – at 170.50.
In-state rival No. 3 Texas A&M also fell one spot in the rankings, but actually marginally improved its rankings score to 159.91 to drawn nearer to Oregon and Texas. Sprinter Olivia Ekpone played a large role in the gain, as she improved to No. 5 in 2014 at 60 meters and No. 8 at 200 meters, as did sixth-ranked weight thrower Brea Garrett.
No. 4 Florida slipped both in terms of position and rankings score, falling six points for a score of 140.70, while SEC rival No. 5 Georgia closed what had been a nearly 40-point gap between itself and the No. 4 spot to approximately nine points with 131.05. A pair of first-year student-athletes came through big for the Bulldogs in newly minted American Junior indoor pentathlon record holder Kendell Williams and second-ranked high jumper Leonita Kallenou.
Rounding out the top-10 were No. 6 Kentucky (105.83), No. 7 Arkansas (95.41), No. 8 LSU (68.10), No. 9 Stanford (67.37) and No. 10 Kansas (59.23).
Just outside the top 10, No. 11 Providence was up one spot to its highest indoor rank since the beginning of the USTFCCCA rankings in 2008. Also attaining their highest ranks since 2008 were No. 13 Dartmouth and No. 14 Purdue.
Baylor made the biggest advance of all the women’s teams, jumping seven spots to No. 19.