2021 NCAA DI Men's Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – It’s time to check out the first installment of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Rating Index, as released on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Remember: We are not using preseason marks this year, which means the National TFRI is only constructed using performances turned in during the current season. That means it will evolve more than years past and give a true glimpse of what teams are doing the best at the moment.
LSU is ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2008. The Tigers have been stout so far in the 2021 outdoor campaign, especially so at the Texas Relays this past weekend. You can’t start anywhere but at the top and that’s where Terrance Laird and Damion Thomas sit in the 200 and the 110H, respectively. Laird clocked a blistering 19.81 (+0.8) to become the third-fastest collegian all-time, while Thomas went 13.22 to match the 10th-best performer in collegiate history. Those are two of seven national top-5 marks for LSU, which also sees Jake Norris sitting second in the hammer at 69.21m (227-1) and both relays in the same spot.
Texas A&M begins the season in the passenger seat, the same place it started three of the past four outdoor campaigns as well (2016, 2018, 2019). The Aggies own seven national top-10 marks in the early going, including a national leader from Bryce Deadmon in the 400 (44.62). Texas A&M continues to show its strength in the 400H with two of the top-3 marks: James Smith (No. 2, 49.95) and Moitalel Mpoke (No. 3, 50.01). Deadmon and Smith are both part of the eighth-ranked 4×400 relay that went 3:06.33 back on March 19.
Notre Dame carried the momentum from its program-shaping, runner-up effort at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships into the outdoor season. The third-ranked Irish starred at the Raleigh Relays this past weekend, putting up six national top-5 marks in distance events with three of them coming in the 5000 – Yared Nuguse (No. 1, 13:40.62), Matthew Carmody (No. 3, 13:44.55) and Kenny Vasbinder (No. 5, 13:45.95) – and two others in the steeplechase – William Daly (No. 1, 8:52.44) and Colin Daly (No. 3, 8:53.99).
Texas opens the 2021 outdoor season at No. 4, its best billing this early since 2016. While the Longhorns only hold five national top-10 marks, three of them are national leaders: Charles Brockman III in the 400H (49.78), Steffin McCarter in the long jump (8.27m/27-1¾) and O’Brien Wasome in the triple jump (17.06m/55-11¾). The other top-10 marks for Texas are the third-ranked 4×400 relay (3:01.28) and eighth-ranked Cruz Gomez in the 1500.
Southern California and Houston aren’t separated by much at No. 5 and No. 6, but the Trojans have the edge and round out the top-5. Matthew Katnik, Cameron Samuel and Jordan Scott pace Southern California this early in the season with top-5 marks in their respective events: Scott is No. 2 in the triple jump (16.65m/54-7½); Samuel is No. 4 in the 400H (50.20); Katnik is No. 5 in the shot put (19.80m/64-11½).
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 1: No. 6 Houston, No. 7 Washington, No. 8 Arizona, No. 9 Kansas and No. 10 Oregon.