NEW ORLEANS – The BYU women’s and men’s track and field teams will begin the 2012 indoor season ranked eighth and 14th, respectively, in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national team computer rankings.
Rankings for the initial USTFCCCA poll are based largely on the performance bests of returning athletes. The Florida men’s team and Oregon women’s team are each ranked first in the poll as they look to follow up on national championship seasons in 2011.
The BYU women’s team, which finished 15th at indoor nationals last season, returns every athlete that competed at the national meet in 2011. Seniors Lacey Bleazard and Ada Robinson were the two athletes that scored for BYU at nationals last season, while Diana Blauer, Rachel Fisher, Christen Guenther and Katie Palmer each placed in the top16.
Mark Robison’s men’s team recorded a historic third place finish at indoor nationals in 2011 but will not have national champion Leif Arrhenius in the fold this year. The team does return national champion Miles Batty, along with three members of the championship winning distance medley relay team.
In addition to BYU, several other women’s and men’s teams from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation are in the USTFCCCA top 25. On the women’s side, No. 1 Oregon, No. 10 Arizona, No. 16 Arizona State and No. 23 Stanford all compete in the MPSF during indoor season.
For the men’s team, No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 Arizona and No. 17 Oregon will provide strong competition in the MPSF.
The next round of computer rankings will be released on January 24. The 2012 MPSF Championships will be held February 24-25 in Seattle while the NCAA Indoor Championships will take place in Nampa, Idaho on March 9-10.