Both the Arkansas men and Clemson women remain atop the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Team Computer Rankings for the third consecutive week, but Clemson’s hold on the top spot is loosening.
With 157.83 team points, the Tigers lead a women’s top five that is separated by a slim 11 points. Kansas has held steady at No. 2 all season and is working its way toward the top spot, now just over five points behind the Tigers with 152.70 after a boost from quality field event marks at its Jayhawk Classic. Three-time defending NCAA Champion No. 3 Oregon is also making gains, moving to within eight points of the top spot at 149.53 on the power of strong performances in distance events at the UW Invitational, including a top-five showing in the 3000 by Bowerman Watch-Lister Jordan Hasay.
Arkansas and LSU made the biggest advance toward the top of the chart, each moving up one spot to fourth and fifth, respectively. DI National Women’s Athlete of the Week Makeba Alcide’s No. 1 pentathlon score and No. 3 high jump, along with honorable mention honoree Regina George’s nation-leading 400, boosted the Razorbacks 22.62 points to 148.85 and into striking distance of the top spot.
The LSU women gained a DI women’s-leading 23.09 points for a season total of 146.81, led by the two top 800 runners in the nation – Natoya Goule and Charlene Lipsey, respectively – and defending winner of The Bowerman Kimberlyn Duncan, who turned in this season’s third-fastest time at 60 meters.
Meanwhile the Arkansas men retain their commanding lead atop the men’s rankings with a team score of 216.78, more than 90 points ahead of three-time defending NCAA Champs Florida at 121.26. The Gators regain the second spot from Texas A&M, which now sits at No. 3 with 120.88.
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rivals Oregon and Arizona State trade spots from a week ago to round out the top five at four and five, respectively.
The National Computer Team Rankings project how a team will finish in a National Championship Meet setting, rather than a triangular or dual. The rankings are compiled from meet data in the 2012-13 season, but also from returners from the 2011-12 to take into account what a roster might look like should all student-athletes perform at their top level.
The next round of computer rankings will be released February 5. The 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held in Fayetteville, Ark., March 8-9