NEW ORLEANS – With the national championship meet just two weeks away, now is the perfect time to see where the nation stands in the latest edition of the NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field National Rating Index, released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Wednesday.
The index serves as a preview to the upcoming regional championship weekends to go with the running of the 2019 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships which is set for May 16-18 in Hobbs, New Mexico.
There wasn't too much to talk about in terms of heavy changes as the top men's and women's programs remained on their throne as teams start to lock into position heading into nationals.
For the third week in a row, South Plains (Texas) has been rated as the No. 1 team in the Men's National Rating Index.
The Texans spent the weekend at the ACU Oliver Jackson Twilight meet where they were led by Deion Lightfoot (third in the nation in the 110H), Isiah Griffith (third in the long jump), Brandon Letts (sixth in the 100) and Scoot Frazier (10th in the pole vault).
Jumping up two spots into the No. 2 position was Iowa Central CC after a great weekend between the Kip Janvrin Open and the Drake Relays. The group saw top performances out of Awet Yohannes (now leads the country in the steeple), Courtney Lindsey (second overall in the 200) and Akeem Bradshaw (ninth in the triple jump).
Remaining at No. 3 was Cloud County (Kan.) CC after hosting its Thunderbird Classic this past weekend. The program added numerous individual marks into the index with the best of the weekend being Dais Malebana (tops the nation in the 15000), Jerrod Hoover (fourth in the javelin), Dennis Kiptoo (sixth in the same event) and Yuben Goncalves (eighth in the 400H). The squad's 4×800 unit is also now the second-ranked group in the country.
Dropping two spots to No. 4 was Coffeyville (Kan.) CC despite competition at the PSU Tune-Up. The Red Ravens throws put on a show at the meet as Miles Marhofer is now third in the nation in the hammer while Mustafa Fall is fifth in the shot.
Rounding out the top-5 after no change from the previous index was Barton (Kan.) CC. The Cougars were off from competition this past weekend after last racing at the Michael Johnson Invitational in mid-April. The group is set for the Region VI/KJCCC Outdoor Championships, which will be held this weekend in El Dorado, Kansas.
The rest of the top-10 was completed by Central Arizona, Western Texas, Hutchinson (Kan.) CC, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC and Hinds (Miss.) CC, in that order.
The top-25 experienced a good amount of change heading into the postseason as just the No. 1, 3, 5-6, and 21-24 spots were the only programs who remained in their previous position. Overall 16 of the top-25 team jumped around with the biggest improvement seen by No. 9 Indian Hills (Iowa) CC after a five-spot climb.
Cowley (Kan), out of the No. 15 spot, experienced the next best leap with a three-spot improvement.
The mark was a new program best for Indian Hills CC while Cowley tied its school record with its rating.
Barton (Kan.) CC held atop the charts for the second week in a row in the Women's National Rating Index.
The Cougars were off from competition this week as they last raced at the Michael Johnson Invitational back on April 20. The group was preparing for the Region VI/KJCCC Outdoor Championships which will be held this weekend in El Dorado, Kansas.
Remaining in the No. 2 spot was New Mexico JC as the program was also off from competition over the weekend. The Thunderbirds are back in action this Saturday at the Texas Tech Open.
Holding steady in the No. 3 spot was South Plains (Texas) after a weekend at the ACU Oliver Jackson Twilight.
The Lady Texans either added or improved on six individual performances in the index, with the best going to Akira Phillip (now leads the nation in the javelin), Janiel Moore (second overall in the 400H), Elon'a Jones (eighth in the long jump) and Patrice Moody (ninth in the 100H).
Holding pat at No. 4 was Central Arizona after the program also had the weekend off from competition. The Vaqueras are geared up for the Region I Championships this Thursday at Mesa Community College.
Coming in at the No. 5 spot was Iowa Central CC after competition at both the Kip Janvrin Open and the Drake Relays. Standouts from the meets include three new national leaders in Florance Uwajeneza (1500), Lilan Busienei (steeple) and Winrose Chesang (5000).
The rest of the top-10 was rounded out in the following order; Cloud County (Kan.) CC, Monroe (N.Y.), Western Texas, Cowley (Kan.) and Southern Idaho.
There really wasn't much movement in the top-25 this week as the top seven programs in the country all remained locked in their position from the previous index. Just 11 of the top-25 teams experienced any type of change which has turned out to be the pattern in recent weeks. Only 10 of the top-25 teams experienced change in last week's ratings.
Just four top-25 teams made positive improvements in No. 12 Coffeyville (Kan.) CC (up three spots), No. 23 Dodge City (Kan.) CC (up two spots) and No. 8 Western Texas and No. 20 Butler (Kan.) CC (each improved one spot apiece).
The mark tied the program best received by Dodge City CC in school history.