You may recall that last year I revived the collegiate dual-meet rankings for Track and Field News. Back then, when editor Garry Hill so graciously gave me the opportunity to do this, he suggested that we do weekly rankings for this year. It helps to publicize the idea of dual meets and their particular kind of competition. Plus, then you know when a truly big meet is coming up and what’s at stake.
Below is the press release we just sent out to announce the women’s pre-season rankings. Men’s will come out next week. In between those two, I’ll be adding to the Dual Meet Hall of Fame that I created last May.
COLLEGIATE DUAL MEET WOMEN’S RANKINGS
Collegiate dual meets, once the backbone of the collegiate track & field season, nearly disappeared in the ’90s and ’00s but are now enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and with that growth in interest, the rankings have returned to Track & Field News.
To kick things off, LSU stands atop the preseason rankings in the Women’s Indoor Rankings, ahead of SEC rival Texas A&M.
Three SEC teams dominate the top end of the rankings, but the Big 10 claims the largest share with 4 of the top 10. The other three rankings come from the Big 12, Missouri Valley, and Heptagonal conferences.
Those three SEC teams—LSU, Texas A&M and Arkansas—will face off at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Stadium on Saturday, January 19, in a meet likely to determine the women’s indoor dual meet champion.
The preseason Top 10:
2. Texas A&M
6. Michigan State
7. Indiana State
To be considered for the rankings, a team must compete in at least one dual meet during the indoor season, using T&FN’s definition of a “dual meet” as a scored competition among four or fewer teams.
Men’s preseason indoor rankings will be released on Wednesday, January 8. The next women’s rankings will be released on Wednesday, January 15, and will recognize the top 20 teams.
Here is a list of meets involving one or more ranked women’s teams scheduled to take place before the next ranking release:
Navy at #10 Princeton
St. John’s , St. Joseph’s & Rutgers at #10 Princeton
Oklahoma State at #5 Arkansas
Illinois State at #7 Indiana State
Purdue at #9 Indiana
TFN’s dual meet rankings, compiled by Jesse Squire of tracksuperfan.com, are a revival of annual rankings presented from 1970 through 1995.
Dual meets, once the backbone of the collegiate season, nearly disappeared in the ’90s and 2000s but have made a return, and with them have come the rankings.
Last year’s women’s champions for the combined indoor/outdoor season were the Oregon Ducks.
A full compilation of past collegiate dual meet rankings can be found at tracksuperfan.com.
During the outdoor season, rankings will be kept on a combined indoor/outdoor basis.