Lady Tigers Track & Field New No. 1; Men No. 2

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Lady Tigers Track & Field New No. 1; Men No. 2

BATON ROUGE – There’s a new No. 1-ranked team in collegiate track and field as the LSU Lady Tigers have used their performance at the LSU Alumni Gold on Saturday to overtake the Texas A&M Aggies for the top spot in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association power ranking.

The Tigers are also on the verge of earning a No. 1 national ranking in the USTFCCCA Top 25 with their performance this past weekend as they have climbed three spots to No. 2 in the country this week.

LSU and Texas A&M continue to battle for supremacy in both the men’s and women’s USTFCCCA polls as they prepare to meet this weekend in their regular-season finale at the 117th Penn Relays Carnival set to run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at historic Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Lady Tigers currently lead the Aggies by a narrow margin in the women’s national ranking, while the Tigers follow closely behind the Aggies in the men’s ranking released Tuesday by the USTFCCCA.

The top five of each power ranking has seen some shakeup from last week as performances by athletes for the 2010 season used to generate the 2011 preseason rankings are no longer considered in the calculations for the USTFCCCA Top 25. Tuesday’s release marks the first time that only performances posted in 2011 are being considered in the weekly men’s and women’s power rankings.

On the men’s side, Florida State has moved up one spot to No. 3 in the latest power ranking, while former No. 1 Florida has dropped to No. 4 and Texas Tech has dropped two spots to No. 5.

While the Lady Tigers and Aggies have held the top two spots throughout the 2011 outdoor season for the women’s side, Oregon remains No. 3 this week with No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 USC flipping spots.

Any team with national championship aspirations will feature NCAA title contenders in individual events as they prepare for the postseason. LSU isn’t short on firepower this season as the Tigers and Lady Tigers feature three athletes who rank No. 1 in the NCAA in their respective events. In addition, the squads boast two other athletes and two relays teams that rank No. 2 in the NCAA as they head to the Penn Relays.

The Tigers are led by a pair of No. 1-ranked athletes nationwide this spring as senior Zedric Thomas has a seasonal-best wind-aided jump of 55 feet, 11 ¼ inches in the triple jump and junior Barrett Nugent owns a seasonal-best wind-aided time of 13.19 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles.

The Lady Tigers feature the NCAA’s No. 1-ranked 200-meter runner as sophomore NCAA Indoor champ Kimberlyn Duncan boasts a 2011 outdoor best with a wind-aided 22.18 set at the LSU Alumni Gold.

In addition, junior Semoy Hackett ranks No. 2 in the women’s 100-meter dash with a time of 10.98w, and junior Cassandra Tate ranks No. 2 in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a season-best and personal-best time of 56.31. The Tigers (38.78) and Lady Tigers (43.31) also feature the NCAA’s second-fastest 4×100-meter relay teams with their performance to this point of the 2011 outdoor season.

USTFCCCA Top 25

Women
Team (Points) Last Week
1. LSU (339.35) 2
2. Texas A&M (297.72) 1
3. Oregon (280.32) 3
4. Clemson (263.46) 5
5. Southern California (218.85) 4
6. Oklahoma (204.21) 6
7. Arizona (187.32) 8
8. Texas (181.67) 7
9. Texas Tech (160.85) 15
10. Arizona State (159.10) 10
11. Arkansas (158.20) 9
12. Baylor (151.04) 14
13. Auburn (149.30) 11
14. North Carolina (118.76) 31
15. SMU (113.94) 18
16. Tennessee (110.80) 13
17. Central Florida (107.02) 27
18. Nebraska (106.83) 41
19. Georgia (102.14) 20
20. Southern Illinois (100.91) 22
21. Washington State (100.23) 19
22. BYU (94.83) 24
23. Colorado (92.51) 16
24. TCU (91.63) 23
25. Kansas State (88.66) 33

Men
Team (Points) Last Week
1. Texas A&M (367.57) 2
2. LSU (322.75) 5
3. Florida State (272.66) 4
4. Florida (261.69) 1
5. Texas Tech (254.67) 3
6. Texas (177.19) 11
7. Virginia Tech (175.44) 14
8. Southern California (172.49) 6
9. Arizona (167.24) 16
10. Baylor (150.47) 21
11. Georgia (146.19) 19
12. Nebraska (132.15) 10
13. BYU (123.24) 9
14. Ole Miss (117.50) 22
15. Arkansas (115.36) 12
16. Kansas (110.76) 18
17. Penn State (103.45) 28
18. Mississippi State (100.92) 7
19. Auburn (98.70) 17
20. Oregon (89.71) 13
21. Oklahoma (88.47) 20
22. Wisconsin (88.37) 58
23. Stanford (84.13) 8
24. TCU (77.84) 37
25. Arizona State (75.61) 36