The 2022 women's outdoor track and field season is off to a great start. With that comes the first team rankings of the season.
Here are takeaways from the first national rating index from the USTFCCCA (which are also listed below).
Strong relays push Texas to the top spot
No. 1 Texas lands the top spot in the first women's outdoor track and field rankings of the season. Texas is coming off hosting Texas Relays last weekend, where the Longhorns finished first in the 4x100 meter relay, the 4x200 meter relay and the 4x400 meter relay. The 4x1 and 4x4 performances are the fastest so far in the country.
Individually, Texas has two of the top eight times in the country in the 200 and 800 meters. Emelia Chatfield has the sixth-fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles. In field events, Texas is powered by Olympian Tyra Gittens, whose nation-leading long jump of 6.82 meters is one of four top-seven marks in field events this year. Kristine Blazevica rounds out the impressive start for the Longhorns, ranking fifth in the heptathlon.
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Texas Tech lands highest ranking ever
Texas Tech is second — its highest ranking in program history. The Red Raiders are deep this year, with point scorers in numerous events.
In the discus, Seasons Usual leads the country with her 58.50-meter throw. Kayli Johnson and Monae' Nichols sit second nationally in the shot put and triple jump, respectively.
Additionally, the Red Raiders have top-10 national marks in the 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 100 meter hurdles, pole vault and 4x100 meter relay. It's early, but Texas Tech has already made history once this season; it has the potential to do so again.
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Florida sits fifth ahead of hosting Florida Relays
All eyes will be on Florida Relays this weekend, with the host school No. 5 Florida rounding out the top five. The Gators are coming off the 2022 indoor women's title and have hopes of sweeping the championships in June. Yet, before we jump months ahead, Florida can look to Anna Hall for signs of what could be on the horizon.
Hall scored a nation-leading 6,412 points in the heptathlon last weekend. That mark not only leads the country but also ranks fourth all time in NCAA history.
Hall isn't the only Gator with a good performance early in the season; Florida has six other top-eight times and marks in events this season. That all shapes up for an exciting Florida Relays in Gainesville this weekend.
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Defending champion Southern California drops from last season's peak
After winning the 2021 outdoor women's track and field title, No. 9 Southern California begins the season in the top 10, but with work to make up. The Lady Trojans did lose a lot of talent from that championship team, but upperclassmen Jasmine Jones and Bailey Lear return as two of the best in the country, as shown by their top-six times in the 100 meter hurdles and 400 meters, respectively. With newcomers Celera Barnes (transfer) and Samirah Moody (freshman) also in the fold, Southern California could quickly rise back to the top of the sport.
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SEC is off to an expected strong start
The SEC was expected to be a competitive and deep conference in 2022 and the first rankings of the season prove that. The SEC leads all conferences for the most teams in the rankings, with seven ranked teams. Led by No. 3 LSU, four SEC teams land in the top 10 and all SEC teams are in the top-20.
The Pac-12's five teams are the second-most of any conference in the rankings. The ACC and Big 12 each have four teams in the rankings.
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See the full rankings from March 28, 2022:
|24||North Carolina A&T||78.57|