Courtesy of Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA Media Relations Director | Click here for full USTFCCCA Release
NEW ORLEANS – It’s a GLIAC sweep atop NCAA Division II indoor track & field as the Grand Valley State men and the Ashland women both moved to No. 1 in this week’s National Team Computer Rankings released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each and every week the potential national title pictures comes into clearer focus, as preseason marks have not been included for the NCAA DII rankings since the November preseason rankings. Moving to the foreground this week were the GVSU supplanting Findlay as the top-ranked men’s team, and Ashland’s women inching ahead of former No. 1 Central Missouri.
The GVSU men narrowly lead No. 2 Ashland and No. 3 Findlay in the rankings. The Lakers checked in with 156.29 team rankings points, followed by Ashland with 149.40 and Findlay with 145.99.
"That's a great honor and achievement
for our women's program," said Ashland head coach Jud Logan. "It
certainly doesn't change anything in our focus. We'll take it, but
it's not going to change our focus or what we're doing. We just
want to go to NCAAs and be in position to compete for a podium
Points are determined using a formula that assigns points to athletes based on how highly they are ranked on the NCAA DII qualifying list, and totals up all the points earned each team’s athletes. Points do not equate to the scoring system used at the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, March 13-14.
Ashland’s women didn’t exactly pull away from UCM, either. The Eagles posted 152.11 points to the Jennies’ 144.25 and the No. 3 GVSU Lakers’ 137.26.
A whopping 20 season’s-best performances for the GVSU men at their two-day, two-meet GVSU Big Meet boosted them up five spots to the perch of the DII rankings, including No. 2 shot putter Chris Saikalis and No. 3 800-meter runner Ethan Barnes among nine top-10 performers.
Though Ashland’s Drew Windle impressed in the Millrose Games 1000-meter race with a third-place finish as the only collegian in the field, he didn’t add any points to the team’s total this week. The Eagles got a pair of top-four performances from Elijha Owens and the No. 6 mile from Nick Hall, allowing them to move past GLIAC rival Findlay at No. 3.
A trio of teams that did make significant gains rounded out the top five. GVSU moved up two spots to No. 3 behind an impressive 21 season’s bests at the Big Meet, including No. 2 5000-meter runner Amy Cymerman and the No. 6 pole vault duo of Jennifer Schornak and Alexandra Kitz.
Distance running boosted No. 5 Hillsdale, as the Chargers’ DMR moved to No. 2 in the country, Emily Oren moved to No. 3 in the mile, and Amy Kerst and Kristina Galat posted No. 7 times at 800- and 3000-meters, respectively.