NEW ORLEANS – For the 4th-consecutive week, Grand Valley State remains on top of the Women’s National Division II Team Rankings, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.
The Lakers saw a plethora of solid performances this past weekend at the GVSU Big Meet Invite that allowed them to stay in the top spot, despite legitimate competition from Pittsburg State, who jumped to 2nd place once again after a week of being in 3rd.
GVSU’s 4 x 400 relay (3:43.09) and distance medley (11:32.28) squads put together strong outings, as the quartets notched the 2nd and 3rd fastest times in Division II on the season, respectively, in Allendale, Michigan, over the weekend. Additionally, senior Kyra Hull recorded the 5th-best throw in Division II in the weight throw with a mark of 20.07m (65-10 ¼), while fellow senior Kendra Foley continued her stellar indoor campaign with the 6th-best time in the mile in Division II at 4:48.87. Sprinter Angela Ritter joined in on the action with a time of 55.08 in the 400 meters, good for 4th in all of Division II.
After a week in 3rd for the program’s lowest ranking since the fifth week of the 2016 season, Pittsburg State moved back to their rightful spot of 2nd thanks in part to their 4 x 400 relay team who strung together the fastest time in Division II on the year at the 2nd Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic, recording a time of 3:42.73. Individually, Emilyn Dearman ran an 8.55 in the 60 hurdles and Imani Hutchinson notched a time of 7.53 in the 60 meters, good for 4th and 7th, respectively, in the Division II Descending Order Lists.
Adams State fell one spot to 3rd, while West Texas A&M stayed put at 4th. U-Mary made the week’s biggest push into the top-10, as the Marauders jumped six spots to 5th, tying the program’s highest all-time ranking. One week after running the top time in Division II in the 3,000 meters, Alexis Zeis impressed again with the 2nd-best time in the 5,000 meters in Division II, running a time of 16:20.53 at the SDSU Indoor Classic. Maria Bolibruch joined Zeis in having a productive weekend, as the sophomore ran an 8.54 in the 60 hurdles, tying teammate Tonie Pandohie for 2nd in all of Division II.
While movement was relatively stagnant at the top of the poll, spots six to 25 all saw change from a week ago.
Western State and Central Missouri rose in the top-10 to 6th and 7th, respectively. Western State’s ranking is the highest in program history and can be attributed to Alicja Konieczek and Georgia Porter for their performances in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters, respectively, at last weekend’s Husky Classic. Central Missouri’s Brittany Kallenberger cleared 4.01m (13-1 ¾) in the pole vault, ranking 3rd in Division II.
Chadron State, Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth rounded out the final three spots of the top-10, with all three programs falling three spots from a week ago.
Merrimack made its season-debut in the top-15, coming in at 11th after climbing 10 spots from a week ago. Carly Muscaro progressed in the 200 meters, recording the Division II pace setting mark of 23.60 at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational. Muscaro now owns the top times in the 200 meters and 400 meters in Division II on the season.
Also making big pushes from week three to week four were Cedarville – who jumped six spots to a program-best 13th place – Queens (N.C.) – who had the biggest rise on the week from 60th to 19th – and Alaska Anchorage – who rejoined the top-25 at 24th after falling to 43rd a week ago.
The 2017 NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 10-11.