Lincoln Track Teams Continue to Move Up Rankings
JEFFERSON CITY -- Following strong performances at the Drake Relays last week, both the Lincoln women's and men's outdoor track & field teams are now among the top 10 teams in the country according to the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Division II National Poll, released on Tuesday. The women's team is now ranked No. 3 nationally while the men are slotted at No. 8. Both squads moved up in their respective polls from last week, when the women were No. 5 and the men were No. 13.
The Lincoln women's outdoor track & field team received 172.75 points this week to claim third in this week's national rankings. The only two teams ahead of LU are Grand Valley State, which earned 235.13 points to reclaim the No. 1 ranking, and Adams State, which is ranked second after receiving 221.14 points. Rounding out the top five this week are Grand Canyon, which checks in at No. 4 with 166.59 points, and fellow MIAA program Central Missouri, which is No. 5 with 150.13 points.
The MIAA had three teams ranked this week in the women's poll, with Pittsburg State closing out the listing with a No. 25 ranking (48.06 points).
Lincoln also remained atop the leaderboard in the USTFCCCA's regional rankings. The Blue Tigers have owned the top spot in the South Central Regional Poll since the preseason, having earned 440.97 points to claim this week's No. 1 ranking. The Blue Tigers are more than 40 points ahead of the next-closest ranked team, as Central Missouri is second with 393.13 points.
In the men's poll, the Blue Tigers returned to the top 10 for the first time since April 11, earning 116.08 points to be slotted eighth. Lincoln edged out Central Missouri this week, as the Mules are ranked No. 9 with 114.10 points. The MIAA has three schools ranked in the top 10 this week, with Pittsburg State leading the conference with a No. 6 ranking (132.92). Also representing the MIAA, which tied the RMAC Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the Lone Star Conference with four teams ranked, is Missouri Southern (No. 16, 69.68 points).
Leading the men's poll this week is Adams State, which became the first team to dethrone Saint Augustines (No. 2, 214.85 points) this season by claiming 221.71 points for the No. 1 ranking. Also in the top five this week are Grand Canyon (No. 3, 167.38 points), Abilene Christian (No. 4, 156.12 points) and Western State (No. 5, 146.85 points).
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. 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."
This weekend both Blue Tiger teams will be competing for their respective conference championships as Lincoln will head to Emporia, Kansas for the MIAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet will be hosted by Emporia State and will be held from Friday through Sunday.