TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama men's track & field team is ranked 11th in this week’s edition of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Team Computer Rankings released Tuesday. The bulk of Alabama’s team took last weekend off, with two relay units competing at a meet in New York and two women’s pole vaulters competing at a meet in Birmingham. The No. 11 ranking is one spot down from last week’s No. 10 ranking for Alabama. The Crimson Tide men’s team began 24th in the preseason rankings before moving to 17th one week later and up to 10th in last week’s survey.
Alabama's rise from its preseason rank of 24th has been precipitated by excellent early-season performances in all facets of the sport and has the Crimson Tide moving quickly into prominence in the third year of head coach Dan Waters' rebuilding of the program. The Tide men rose one spot to No. 2 in this week's South Region rankings while the Alabama women held dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the South Region team survey.
The national team rankings are compiled by mathematical formulae based on national descending order lists and data taken from previous seasons. For the preseason ranking and early-season rankings, data will be taken from previous seasons as well as the current season. The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. A full description of the rankings can be found here. The USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings should not be referred to as a "poll” as no voting occurs during the process.
Nine Alabama athletes have performances this season that currently rank among the top 20 nationally in their respective events. Thus far this season, Crimson Tide athletes have produced 35 performances that have landed in the school's all-time top 10 (23 in the men's top 10; 12 in the women's top 10) in events that cross the spectrum of the sport. Alexis Paine's winning mark last Saturday of 4.35 meters (14 feet, 3 1/4 inches) in the women’s pole vault broke the previous Alabama indoor record of 4.25m (13-11 1/2) that she set at last year's SEC Indoor Championships, becoming the first Crimson Tide female in the history of the track and field program to clear 14 feet indoors.
A pair of distance medley relay (DMR) units posted times that rank among the top 10 in Alabama indoor history last Friday night at the Armory Collegiate Invitational at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in New York City. The men's DMR of Alex Amankwah, Dwight Davis, Jacopo Lahbi and Matt Airola finished in 9 minutes, 41.23 seconds to take third in the race while posting the eighth-fastest indoor DMR time in Crimson Tide history. The women's DMR of Meropi Panagiotou, Kim Ficenec, Remona Burchell and Yanique Malcolm also finished third while posting a time of 11:26.70, the fourth-fastest indoor DMR time in Crimson Tide history.
Alabama resumes full team activity this Friday-Saturday (Feb. 14-15) at the Tyson Invitational at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.