Thursday, February 19, 2015

Both Washington squads rocket to top 25 in USTFCCCA rankings; NCAA changes format of outdoor champs...

Thanks to strong showings over the weekend, both University of Washington track and field squads have rocketed to top-25 national rankings in the latest USTFCCCA poll released earlier this week.

The men’s squad, helped by school record marks by Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Aaron Nelson, along with the second career sub-4 minute mile by Izaic Yorks, moved all the way up to #25 in the national poll.

The Dawgs earned points towards their national ranking over the weekend from pole vaulter Lev Marcus, who is on the cusp of clearing 18 feet with his 17-11 1/4 (5.47) mark; Chris Williams in both the 60 hurdles (7.84) and pole vault (17-5.5/5.32m); and JJ Juilfs in the pole vault (17-5.5/5.32m).

Like the men’s squad, the Washington women went all the way up to #24 in the national rankings thanks to performances over the weekend by their distance runners and pole vaulters, with miler Eleanor Fulton (4:39.95), 3000 meter runner Maddie Meyers (9:07.53) and the vaulting trio of Diamara Planell Cruz (14-2/4.32m), Liz Quick and Kristina Owsinski (both 13-6.25/4.12m).

The top five men’s teams in the national computer rankings, which are based on marks made during the 2015 season (the rankings for the first three weeks were based on a combination of current and pre-season marks) are Florida, Oregon, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Texas.

On the women’s side, the top five teams are Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Oregon.


In an effort to make the meet more palatable to television viewers, the NCAA announced on Tuesday changes to the presentation of its outdoor track & field championships.

In the new format, one gender will compete on days 1 and 3 of the championship while the other will compete on days 2 and 4, with only the heptathlon and decathlon crossing over (probably contested on days 1-2 or 2-3).

According to this release, members of the Division I men’s and women’s track & field committee said that they believe the meet will be easier to follow, and that ESPN can potentially include an additional hour of coverage.  

The committee noted that the format provides a rest day for each gender; however, the format could potentially make individuals considering doubling think twice.

NOTE:  The NCAA and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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