Gainesville, FL - The University of Florida men’s track and field
team, the defending NCAA Indoor Champion, is ranked No. 1 in the 2011 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll, released Thursday afternoon by the New Orleans-based organization.
The Gator men are coming off a 2010 season where they garnered the first national title in the history of the program, claiming the NCAA Indoor Championship with 57 total team points. Florida defeated second-place Oregon and Texas A&M by 13 points. UF returns two individual NCAA Indoor Champions from a year ago in sprinter Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.) and jumper Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.).
For the third consecutive year, national team rankings are complied by
mathematical formulae based on national descending order lists and data taken from previous seasons. For the preseason and early-season
rankings, data will be taken from previous seasons as well as the
Southeastern Conference foe LSU checks in at No. 2 in the USTFCCCA
Preseason Men’s Poll, while Texas A&M (No. 3), Oregon (No. 4) and
Virginia Tech (No. 5) round out the USTFCCCA’s top-five. The Gators are one of five SEC teams to be ranked in the preseason poll, joined by LSU (No. 2), Auburn (No. 11), Arkansas (No. 13) and Georgia (No. 14).
In the individual men’s rankings, Demps is the nation’s leading returner
in the men’s 60m dash, while senior Terrell Wilks (New Haven, Conn.) is
ranked 11th in that event. Sophomore Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Fla.) is ranked fourth nationally in the 400m and fifth in the 200m. Sophomore hurdler William Wynne (Marietta, Ga.), who is returning after
redshirting the 2010 campaign, is ranked ninth in the nation in the 60m
hurdles and Florida’s 4x400m relay is third nationally. Taylor is the
nation’s leading returner in the triple jump and is fifth nationally in
the long jump. Sophomore Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) is ranked ninth in the men’s triple jump, while senior Kemal Mesic (Sarajevo, Bosnia) is second in the shot put. Junior heptathlete Gray Horn (Waynesfield, Ohio) is ranked ninth in the nation in the heptathlon.
The Florida women who, due to graduation, lost 32 of their 33 points
from a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships a year ago, are not ranked to begin the 2011 campaign. Oregon, the defending women’s indoor national champion, is ranked No. 1 in the USTFCCCA Preseason Women’s Poll. Texas A&M is No. 2 followed by No. 3 LSU. No. 4 Tennessee and No. 5 Clemson round out the USTFCCCA’s top-five.
Florida opens the 2011 season on Jan. 15, when it travels to University
Park, Pa., to participate in the Nittany Lion Challenge, beginning at 11
For all of the latest information on Florida track and field, please log
on to www.GatorZone.com/trackfield or, for up-to-the-minute updates,
follow the team’s Twitter account @GZTrackField or
2011 USTFCCCA MEN’S PRESEASON POLL
3 Texas A&M
5 Virginia Tech
6 Florida State
7 Texas Tech
8 Penn State
19 Oklahoma State
20 Kansas State
21 North Carolina
25 Arizona State
2011 USTFCCCA WOMEN’S PRESEASON POLL
2 Texas A&M
8 West Virginia
9 Southern Illinois
13 Florida State
15 Texas Tech
19 Penn State
20 South Carolina