Week 3 of the women's outdoor track and field rankings has a new look as one conference flexes its muscle and three new teams join the top 25.
Here are takeaways from the national rating index from the USTFCCCA.
Kentucky and LSU jump to the top 5 after a strong weekend in the Bayou
No. 4 Kentucky rose two spots and No. 5 LSU jumped four after both programs had great showings at the Joe May Invitational.
Bowerman candidate Abby Steiner had an all-around elite performance for Kentucky. She ran the fastest 200-meter time of the season, running 22.38 against a 5.6 m/s headwind. Steiner also ran the fastest wind-legal 100-meter time of the season, finishing in 10.92 seconds. Steiner also contributed to Kentucky's relays as the Wildcats ran the second-fastest 4x100 meter relay collegiately this season.
.@abbysteiner1 goes 22.38 into the wind (-5.6) in her 200m outdoor debut with an NCAA-leading time! 👏— UK Track & Field (@KentuckyTrack) April 9, 2022
It’s also an outdoor personal best and 2nd all-time for UK!#UKTF x #SteinerSpeed pic.twitter.com/JBE40POV1A
.@abbysteiner1 sets her 5⃣th school record with today's 100m win. 😼— UK Track & Field (@KentuckyTrack) April 9, 2022
She is now the the fifth fastest 100m runner in collegiate history with her 10.92 (+0.5) run!#UKTF x #SteinerSpeed pic.twitter.com/npZiMBCH7u
💨: Wind and scoring in track and field, explained
Joining Steiner in the 4x1 were Shadajah Ballard, Masai Russell and Karimah Davis. Russell had a stand-out performance of her own at the Joe May Invitational, blazing through the 100 meter hurdles in 12.75 seconds for the nation's fifth-fastest time.
1️⃣2️⃣.7️⃣5️⃣ for @masai_russell 🔥— UK Track & Field (@KentuckyTrack) April 9, 2022
That’s a personal best, 3rd all-time for UK, and currently the 5th fastest in the NCAA this season!#UKTF pic.twitter.com/AqVd3t9rrk
WOW: These are the most exciting sprinters in 2022 women’s outdoor track
LSU was the home team at the Joe May Invitational, and it used the home track advantage well. The Tigers recorded six top-10 national marks, with an additional mark landing in the top-12.
Three Tigers finished with the 10th-best height in the high jump. Abigail O'Donoghue, Nyagoa Bayak and Morgan Smalls each reached 1.83 meters. LSU found season's-best times in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays, climbing to the third and sixth-fastest collegiate time, respectively.
Women's High Jump— LSU Track & Field (@LSUTrackField) April 9, 2022
Abby O'Donoghue wins the event with a season best clearance of 6' (1.83m)! Nyagoa Bayak and Morgan Smalls also match that mark to tie for 9th in the nation.
📈 https://t.co/AEvdu9saDo#GeauxTigers pic.twitter.com/tr1OiYJ4Gw
Favour Ofili ran in both of those relays. She had the top individual performance of any Lady Tiger this weekend, finishing the 100 meters in 11.00 seconds — the second-fastest wind-legal time this year.
Women's 100 Meters@FavOfili earns silver with a personal best time of 11.00! That time is 7th in LSU history and 4th in the nation and the world for 2022.— LSU Track & Field (@LSUTrackField) April 9, 2022
📈 https://t.co/AEvdu9saDo#GeauxTigers pic.twitter.com/WKX22tzVRZ
NEW BLOOD: 8 true freshmen in NCAA women's track and field who can burst on the scene in 2022
The SEC is dominant at the top
With Kentucky and LSU's rise, the SEC takes five of the top six spots in this week's national rating index. The Wildcats and Tigers sit behind No. 2 Texas A&M and No. 3 Florida; the Aggies and Gators held firm to their spots in Week 3. Rounding out the bunch is No. 6 Arkansas, meaning the SEC sits second to sixth at the top of the rankings. Throw in No. 14 South Carolina and No. 24 Auburn, and the conference has seven teams in the top 25, two more than any other conference.
UNBREAKABLE: The most unbreakable — we think — records in women’s track and field
Four teams dropped four spots each in the latest top 25: No. 15 Southern California, No. 16 Duke, No. 21 North Carolina A&T and No. 24 Auburn.
It's the second straight week that the Trojans and Tigers have dropped. After a fast start to the season, Southern California has improved on just one of its top-30 marks — Karlee Freeman's 11th-best discus mark stands alone — since March 23. While the Trojans have three top six marks in the sprints, the rest of the nation is heating up and catching up.
💍: 5 track and field programs that could be the next first-time national champion
No. 19 Arizona, No. 22 Arizona State and No. 25 North Carolina are the three new entrants to this week's top 25. Arizona rejoins the top 25 after sitting 18th in Week 1 and dropping out in Week 2. Arizona State and North Carolina are making their first appearances in the top 25 this season.
The Sun Devils received a boost from Jorinde Van Klinken and Beatrice Llano in the discus and hammer throw, respectively. At the Sun Angel track classic, Van Klinken landed a nation-leading 62.83-meter mark in the discus while Llano reached 69.64 meters in the hammer, good for fourth-best this year.
Outdoor debut ➡️ national lead— Sun Devil Cross Country/Track (@SunDevilTFXC) April 9, 2022
Jorinde van Klinken takes the top discus spot with her 62.38m/204-8 mark 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/U4szA2kvPZ
The Tar Heels are coming off an impressive weekend at the Duke Invitational. There, Jillian Shippee landed the nation's seventh-best distance in the hammer, 68.43 meters. Meanwhile, Sarah Trainor and Sasha Neglia finished the steeplechase with the 10th and 14th fastest times, respectively. Those marks join Madison Wiltrout's javelin performance from mid-March, where she launched her way to a 56.12-meter mark, the second-farthest collegiately in 2022.
BIG NAMES: 40 names you should know before the 2022 women’s outdoor track season
See the full top 25 from April 11, 2022:
|21||North Carolina A&T||85.37||17|
Dropped out: Stanford, Colorado, Houston