Lincoln Women Remain No. 1 In The Country
JEFFERSON CITY - The Lincoln women's indoor track & field team remained the No. 1 team in the country while the LU men re-entered the rankings at No. 16 in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II national poll, released on Tuesday.
The Blue Tiger women, who have been the country's top-ranked team since the preseason, received 184.10 points to remain on top of the Division II poll. Grand Valley State, one of the teams Lincoln beat at Saturday's GVSU Five-Way meet, earned 177.69 points to be slotted No. 2 in this week's listings. Adams State earned the No. 3 ranking with 171.90 points while Ashland (121.03) and Johnson C. Smith (116.52) are a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
Lincoln was one of five MIAA teams to earn a mention in this week's top-25, with the league earning a total of 431.03 points, the second-most of any NCAA Division II conference. Southwest Baptist is the next-highest ranked MIAA program, coming in at No. 8 with 60.23 points, while Central Missouri is slotted No. 13 (46.58). Also ranked from the MIAA are No. 21 Nebraska-Kearney (38.72) and No. 24 Missouri Southern (33.61).
After a week in which the Blue Tigers were left off the USTFCCCA Top 25, a big day at the GVSU Five-Way on Saturday propelled LU back onto the chart. Lincoln received 48.68 points to climb up to No. 16 in NCAA Division II. Lincoln was one of six MIAA programs ranked this week, the most by any NCAA Division II league, and the MIAA received 396.80 total points, the second-most of any conference. No. 6 Missouri Southern (91.55 points) and No. 7 Pittsburg State (75.38) were the league's highest-ranked programs while Southwest Baptist was next at No. 9 (70.64). Nebraska-Kearney checks in at No. 13 (62.66) and Central Missouri is ranked No. 23 (36.52).
Leading the men's poll this week is Saint Augustine's, which earned the top spot with 237.31 points. Adams State is No. 2 in the nation (213.32) and Ashland is No. 3 (153.06) while Minnesota State (No. 4, 137.30) and Grand Valley State (No. 5, 111.49) round out the top five.
According to the USTFCCA website, the organization compiles its national team rankings by "mathematical formulae based on national descending order lists and data taken from previous seasons. For the preseason ranking and early-season rankings, data will be taken from previous seasons as well as the current season. The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national-team race."
The Blue Tigers are led by head coach Victor Thomas and assistant coach Ailene Smith. Both LU squads will be in Lincoln, Neb. next weekend, as the Blue Tigers will compete in the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, hosted by the University of Nebraska, on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 7-8).