Women's Track & Field Reaches UK-Record No. 3 in Rankings
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky women's track and field team will enter this weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships with a school-record No. 3 rating, as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its most recent computer ratingson Monday.
The USTFCCCA Computer Rankings use an algorithm to predict how many points each team will score at NCAAs. The algorithm is a projection of the teams' finishing order, taking into account not just where athletes are on the national list, but the likelihood of each athlete finishing in scoring territory.
Kentucky has 11 entries that qualified for NCAAs, which is the fourth mostin the nation.
The SEC has each of the top-4 teams in the rankings with Conference Indoor Champions Arkansas holding the top spot, Florida rated No. 2 and Georgia dropping two spots this week to No. 4. Last year's NCAA Runner-up, Texas, is ranked No. 5 and five-time defending National Champion, Oregon, is ranked sixth.
UK increased the number of Wildcats who qualified for the Indoor National Championships by three from last season to 11 women's entries.
How the ranking was earned
The top-16 athletes and top-12 relay teams that declared for the Championships in their particular events, based on performances recorded this season, qualified for the Championships.
The rankings place the highest value on the points a particular athlete is expected to earn, not necessarily where they currently rank based on performances this year.
Athletes earn points based on top-8 finishes at the NCAA Championships on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Senior Kendra Harrison enters the meet with the collegiate-leading 60m hurdles time of 7.92.Harrison will enter the meet relatively fresh as the SEC Championships were her season debut.
Harrison teamed up with Dezerea Bryant and Morganne Phillips and Ariah Graham to turn in the fourth ranked 4x400m relay, a SEC Silver Medal and school-record performance of 3:31.53.
Bryant, who was sidelined for five weeks leading up to SECs, recorded the No. 5 NCAA 200m time and matched her No. 3 NCAA 60m time at SECs in a double Silver Medal performance last weekend. Bryant is the defending NCAA Champion at 200m and Silver Medalist at 60m.
Sha'Keela Saunders and Kenyattia Hackworth, who won the SEC Gold and Silver Medals respectively enter the NCAA long jump ranked Nos. 2 and 3 respectively. Saunders is the reigning NCAA Outdoor Long Jump Silver Medalist. Saunders owns the No. 9 NCAA triple jump this season.
Rebecca Famurewa ranks No. 9 in the weight throw (17'10.75"/21.61m). Morganne Phillips will be the No. 13-seed in the 400m hurdles with a season-best time of 52.69, which she ran in a fourth-place performance at the SEC Championships.
The NCAA Indoor Championships will be held March 13-14 at Arkansas' Tyson Indoor Track Center.