Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Husky men's squad, Viking men & women and SPU women remain in top 25 of latest USTFCCCA poll...

After a busy weekend of track and field, the USTFCCA posted its current national rankings Tuesday for both division I and II schools.

After spending a week at No. 2, Florida reclaimed their spot as the nation’s No. 1 men’s team, by the slimmest of margins, over now-No. 2 LSU. Essentially it’s a statistical tie atop the latest Division I National Computer Rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday. Oregon’s women remain No. 1 after spreading their advantage further after last weekend.

Powered by Jeremy Taiwo's school record score of 5726 points in the heptathlon, the Washington Huskies jumped up three places to rank #21 in the latest poll.

In Division II, the men of Saint Augustine’s regained the nation’s top spot according to the National Team Computer Rankings. In what will seemingly be a season-long tussle with now-No. 2 Lincoln (Mo.), Saint Aug’s used many performances from the last weekend to take 169.49-160.90 lead in the national ranking system. On the women’s side, Grand Valley State remains in the driver’s seat with an opulent score.

The Western Washington men's squad dropped one place to #19 in the current national poll, while their women's squad moved up one to #11.

Seattle Pacific's women's team is still ranked #22 in the latest poll, a drop of one place, based in part on their distance medley relay mark from last year.

When I posed the question to USTFCCCA spokesman Tom Lewis as to why Seattle Pacific was so highly rated based on a mark set by three athletes who have graduated, he replied:

"We’ve made it a standing rule for both D-I and D-II that relays in the preseason earn credit for their best effort from either the previous or current year, up until week three, regardless of personnel."

"In the past, it proved to be difficult to correctly track what happened to each leg of a specific relay, but, as we utilize more of TFRRS in the future, I can see that being an area of improvement for future preseason rankings. But, then we have to ask ourselves how to account for those remaining in a relay squad."

"The rules have been helpful as being a placeholder in the early weeks because many teams, particularly in the DMR, do not expend their best efforts until mid-February. In specific cases, like Seattle Pacific, it can be a little deceiving in the early days"

The Division I rankings can be accessed here, while the Division II rankings are available here.

NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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