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Stan Becton | | May 23, 2022

Texas stands pat, Southern California rises before prelims in latest women's track and field rankings

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Week 9 of the women's outdoor track and field rankings comes right in time for postseason action, ahead of the NCAA preliminary meets. This week's rankings have a new look after being scored using marks only from those who declared and were accepted into the NCAA field.

Here are takeaways from the latest national rating index from the USTFCCCA:

A trio of schools from the Lone Star State sits atop the rankings

The top three schools in Week 9 are No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Texas Tech and No. 3 Texas A&M, all hailing from the Lone Star State.

Texas sits atop the national rating index, hoping to continue its quest to go wire-to-wire as the nation's best team. Texas Tech is back to second in the rankings for the first time since Week 1, thanks to its nation-leading 36 total entries to the preliminary round. The Texas trio concludes with third-ranked Texas A&M, rising one spot and taking two national leaders into the prelims.

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Shuffling among the rest of the top 10

No. 4 Florida and No. 5 LSU round out the top five, with the Gators falling two spots and the Tigers remaining stagnant. Florida and LSU are sending 19 and 20 individual athletes, respectively, to the prelims, including six national leaders in events. That doesn't even include Florida's 4x400 meter relay and LSU's 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays that are participating.

Speaking of relays, Kentucky and its collegiate-record holding 4x400 meter relay team sit sixth in the national rating index.

Finishing the shuffling in the top-10 are No. 7 Arkansas, No. 8 Baylor, No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 Ohio State. The Ducks and Buckeyes enter the prelims coming off winning the Pac-12 and Big Ten championships, respectively.

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The defending champions surge at the right time

The defending champion Southern California Lady Trojans were the biggest risers in Week 9, surging three spots to No. 15 ahead of the West prelims. After placing fourth at the Pac-12 championships, the Trojans are sending 21 individuals and both relay teams to Fayetteville this weekend. 

With a successful weekend at the prelims, Southern California can continue its quest to defend its 2021 title come June. 

MORE: Here's how the outdoor track and field championships work

New Entrants

The only new entrants to the top-25 this week were rival programs in No. 23 Stanford and No. 24 California. Stanford has 13 individuals and its 4x100 relay team participating in the West prelims, joining Allie Jones, who qualified for nationals in the heptathlon. Cal has 17 individuals who qualified for the West prelims, highlighted by NCAA record holder Camryn Rogers in the hammer throw.

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