COLLEGE STATION -- The reigning NCAA indoor champion and the most successful women’s program in the history of collegiate track and field finished the outdoor season ranked first and second by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
To add a dash of intrigue, a new kid on the block is ranked third.
Arizona State, LSU and Texas A&M held the top three spots in the final USTFCCCA women’s poll released today. Rounding out the top 10 are Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, UCLA, Stanford and USC.
The second 10 consists of Texas Tech, Oregon, California, Nebraska, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Washington State, Miami and Georgia Tech, with three schools – Houston, Penn State and UTEP – sharing the 20th spot.
The NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held June 6-9 in Sacramento. Auburn is the defending women’s team champion.
Arizona State won the NCAA indoor championship in March and has been ranked No. 1 all season. If the Sun Devils are to win their first-ever women’s outdoor championship, they’ll need a strong performance from their sophomore thrower, Sarah Stevens.
Stevens enters next week’s NCAA Championships with the nation’s longest throws in the shot put (60-4½) and discus (189-5). Stevens also ranks fifth in the hammer at 217-8. Her teammate, Jessica Pressley, is ranked second in the shot, seventh in the discus and 10th in the hammer.
LSU is led by sophomore hurdler Nickiesha Wilson. Wilson has the nation’s fastest collegiate time in the 400 hurdles (55.20) and ranks sixth in the 100 hurdles (13.06). LSU also has the top time in the 4 x 100 relay at 43.26.
LSU has won a record 13 NCAA women’s outdoor championships. The man who led the Lady Tigers to 12 of those championships, Pat Henry, is now the coach at Texas A&M, and the Aggies have made steady progress in his three seasons at the helm in College Station.
Texas A&M climbed three spots to third in this week’s poll after winning its first Midwest Region title. The Aggies have the nation’s second-fastest time in the sprint relay (43.29), and sprinter Simone Facey is ranked in the top three in the 100 (11.19) and 200 (22.49).
No. 15 Auburn dropped 11 spots in the final poll after its 4 x 100 relay team was disqualified at the Mideast Regional and didn’t qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Thirty-five coaches, including one representative from each Division I conference, vote in the USTFCCCA Division I outdoor poll.
Florida State is ranked first in the final USTFCCCA men’s poll of the season.
USTFCCCA Division I Women’s Outdoor Rankings
May 30, 2007
1 Arizona State
3 Texas A&M
6 South Carolina
11 Texas Tech
16 Virginia Tech
17 Washington State
19 Georgia Tech
19 (tie) Houston, Penn State and UTEP