TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – A week after being named one of the top dual meet teams in the nation, the Indiana State women’s track & field team are ranked 18th nationally according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) computer projections for the 2013 Indoor season. The Sycamore men’s team were ranked 35th.
“We are striving to build upon the great history Indiana State has had on the NCAA level,” Angela Martin, Indiana State women’s track & field coach, said. “This projection reflects the hard work our women have been putting in. I hope this motivates us to continue down a road of success and high goals.”
The ranking is the highest preseason ranking for the Sycamores in the six years that the USTFCCCA has conducted the projections. The 2010 team opened the season at 20th and climbed to 13th in the final rankings before the NCAA Championships where Indiana State finished 17th.
The USTFCCCA preseason computer projections are based largely on the top returners from each school and early performances from this season.
Leading the way for Indiana State is senior Felisha Johnson who set a pair of Sycamore records at the EIU Early Bird last month and continues to lead the nation in the shot put (57-feet-3.75-inches) and the weight throw (75-feet-3.25-inches).
Three other members of the Indiana State team are currently sitting in the top 10 nationally. Senior Leeann Michl is currently third in the 800 meters after running 2:14.17 at the EIU Early Bird (converted to 2:12.64) while senior Stacia Weatherford is eighth in the 60 meters hurdles with a school record time of 8.48 at the EIU Early Bird. Sophomore Carmelia Stewart is 10th with a leap of 19-feet-2.5-inches in the long jump at the EIU Early Bird.
The pre-season computer projections also include performances from the 2012 season which include senior Richelle Kimble in the pole vault and senior Mary Theisen in the shot put. Both posted personal bests at the MVC Indoor Championships a year ago with Kimble clearing 13-feet-5-inches in the pole vault and Theisen throwing 53-feet-3-inches in the shot put.
The Sycamore men also open with their best preseason projection as they topped the 44th ranking posted by the 2012 team.
Three members of the Indiana State men’s team are currently in the top 10 nationally led by freshman John Mascari who dominated the mile at the EIU Early Bird with a time of 4:13.66 (converted to 4:10.46) which is the second best mark in the nation. Junior Greggmar Swift ranks third nationally in the 60 meter hurdles after running 7.79 at the EIU Early Bird while junior Chris Fields is ninth in the weight throw with a distance of 62-feet-8-inches also at the EIU Early Bird.
Also included in the preseason projections is the effort of senior Brandon Pounds who established a school record with a throw of 70-feet-8.5-inches at the EIU Friday Night Special as a junior in 2012.
Indiana State is the top Missouri Valley Conference team in both the men’s and women’s projections. On the women’s side, Illinois State opens the season in 25th with Wichita State 45th, Southern Illinois 65th, and Missouri State 103rd out of the 144 teams in the projections. On the men’s side, Illinois State opens in 68th with Southern Illinois 92nd, and Wichita State 137th out of the 143 schools in the projections.
The Sycamore women are also the top women’s team among Division I schools in Indiana with Purdue 57th, Notre Dame 83rd, Butler 92nd, and Indiana 106th. The Indiana Hoosiers are the top men’s team among Division I schools in Indiana with Indiana state 35th, Notre Dame 41st, Purdue 74th, and Butler 103rd.
Track and Field News magazine’s women’s indoor collegiate dual-meet preseason rankings were announced last week with the Indiana State women ranked seventh nationally. The Sycamore men’s team is ranked 10th nationally in the indoor collegiate dual-meet preseason rankings which were released Wednesday.
The last time the Indiana State women were ranked was in the 1994 season when the Sycamores finished the indoor/outdoor season ranked 15th.
Louisiana State holds the top spot followed by Texas A&M, Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas in the top five. Michigan State leads the second five followed by Indiana State, Michigan, Indiana, and Princeton.
The last time the Indiana State men were ranked was in the 1994 season when the Sycamores finished the indoor/outdoor season ranked 13th.
Arkansas holds the top spot of the men’s rankings followed by Texas A&M, Texas, Nebraska, and Michigan in the top five. North Carolina leads the second five followed by Akron, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, and Indiana State.
To be considered for the indoor rankings, a team must compete in at least one dual meet during the indoor season, using Track and Field News’ definition of a “dual meet” as a scored meet between four or fewer teams. During the outdoor season, rankings will be kept for a combined indoor/outdoor season.
TFN’s dual meet rankings, compiled by Jesse Squire (www.tracksuperfan.com) , are a revival of annual rankings complied from 1970 to 1995. Dual meets were once the backbone of the collegiate track and field season, nearly disappeared in the 1990s and 2000s but have made a return, and with them have come the rankings. Last year’s champion for the combined indoor/outdoor season were the Oregon Ducks for both the men’s and women’s rankings.