The Tennessee men???s track and field team opens the outdoor season third with 209 points in the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings released Wednesday.
Florida State occupies the top spot with 259.63 points. LSU is second with 247.33 points, with Florida???s 195.32 points ranking fourth. Southern Cal rounds out the top five with 188.89 points.
Georgia is the next SEC team, ranking sixth with 181.19 points. The Bulldogs are followed by Auburn in ninth with 169.21 points and Arkansas in 13th with 144.86. The SEC has five schools in the top 10, more than any of the eight conferences represented in the rankings, and the conference???s six ranked schools is second only behind the Big 12???s seven ranked teams.
The rankings use an updated scoring system based on athletes??? season-best marks to determine a team???s overall chances of making an impact at the national championship meet. The scoring system for the teams, compiled by Tom Lewis of Missouri, is the sum of its individuals??? place on the descending order list and a weighed value of those performances based on the field. The scoring method is based on the latest NCAA performance list. This week???s rankings use last year???s performance list minus all seniors.
Tennessee???s team score consists of two relays and 22 individual performances. Fourteen-time All-America Rubin Williams, who claimed his first national title with a win in the 200 at the NCAA Indoor Championships two weeks ago, enters the outdoor season third in the event and 12th in the 100. Three-time All-America Jangy Addy is third in the decathlon, 22nd in the 110 hurdles and 49th in the long jump. Four-time All-America Evander Wells is tied with Williams for third in the 200 and ranks 20th in the 100. Three-time All-America Michael Hogue is sixth in the pole vault and All-America Matthew Maloney is seventh in the javelin. All-America Yarrick Kincaid is 10th in the 800.
Junior Richard Wooten is 17th in the hammer throw and 32nd in the shot put. Sophomore De???Lon Isom ranks 18th in the 110 hurdles. Senior Andrew Dawson is 23rd in the 800, sophomore Kyle Stevenson is 23rd in the 200 and senior Matthieu Pritchett is 23rd in the 100 and 47th in the 200. Junior Nick Panezich is 38th in the discus and 41st in the shot put. Junior Akeem Hardnett is 41st in the triple jump and sophomore Brad???Holtz is 42nd in the pole vault. Sophomore Samdi Fraser is 49th in the 400.
Tennessee???s All-America 4x100 relay team of Pritchett, Wells, Stevenson and Williams is third, and the 4x400 relay team ranks 15th.
Tennessee???s 24 ranked performances are the most in the nation, with Florida???s 23 ranked second. The Vols and Gators are the only teams to have more than 20 performances ranked this week. The complete rankings can be found at USTFCCCA.org.
The Vols return to the track this weekend at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.