COLLEGE STATION -- A new poll format for the 2008 indoor track and field season was released today and the Texas A&M women’s program starts out ranked No. 3 in the nation behind LSU and Tennessee.
Rather than using the standard format of coaches voting for the top teams, the poll issued by the United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and compiled by Missouri SID Tom Lewis, will instead base season rankings off the performances each school has attained during the indoor meets that have been held so far this year. A team’s ranking will be determined from how the marks achieved by members of the team rank in the nation from their respective events.
A preseason poll had Texas A&M women ranked No. 8 based on returning athletes and their marks from the 2007 season. The Aggies improved to No. 3 after opening the season with strong performances at the Razorback Invitational this past weekend.
A NCAA automatic mark by Porscha Lucas in the 200 leads the A&M crew so far in 2008. Lucas, a sophomore from Plano, Texas, is the current American leader and ranks second in the world this indoor season with her indoor personal best of 23.16 seconds.
An additional set of six NCAA provisional marks earned the Aggies a point total of 99.80 in the initial set of rankings based on performances from the 2008 season. LSU currently leads the women’s top 25 poll with 201.99 points followed by Tennessee with 133.57.
The remainder of the women’s top 10 includes: 4. Arkansas, 86.77; 5. Michigan, 84.64; 6. Virginia Tech, 73.01; 7. Mississippi, 70.57; 8. Minnesota, 67.12; 9. Penn State, 64.38; 10. South Carolina, 54.03.
So far, Texas A&M is the only Big 12 women’s squad listed among the top 10. Other schools from the conference amid the top 25 include: 13. Baylor, 16. Texas, 18. Kansas, 19. Kansas State, and 25. Texas Tech.
Following the Razorback Invitational the Aggie women claimed the collegiate leading spot in the 4 x 400 relay (3:35.32) and also hold the Big 12 lead in the 60 with Simone Facey’s 7.28, Lucas’ 200 time of 23.16, the 400 with a 54.47 by Sandy Wooten, Jennifer Williams with an 8.30 in the 60 hurdles, and the triple jump from Ashika Charan’s 43-6 ½ mark.
On the men’s side of the ledger Arkansas (117.21) is the top ranked team followed by Tennessee (109.12) and Oklahoma (84.70). The top 10 also includes 4. Boise State, 80.46; 5. Texas Tech, 77.72; 6. Nebraska, 69.73; 7. Liberty, 68.00; 8. Baylor, 64.56; 9. Clemson, 60.25; 10. LSU (58.37).
Texas A&M men are currently 49th with just a pair of NCAA provisional qualifiers in Gerald Phiri, in the 60 meters, and Julian Reid, in the long jump. The Aggie men’s ranking will get a boost as automatic and provisional qualifiers are attained over the course of the next two weekends with A&M traveling to competitive meets in Kentucky and New York City.