Pac-12 track and field teams ranked in USTFCCCA preseason polls
SAN FRANCISCO -- The OREGON men lead all Pac-12 track and field teams in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason polls released on Wednesday. The Ducks nabbed the top spot in the preseason ranking released, headlining the five men’s teams appearing in the top 25. On the women’s side, the Ducks are also the top team in the Conference, earning the No. 2 spot in the nation.
The two-time defending NCAA Champion Ducks are the favorite to win a third-straight national title. The last Pac-12 team to capture three-consecutive national titles was UCLA from 1971-73. Oregon is led by Bowerman Watch List honorees junior Edward Cheserek and redshirt junior Devon Allen, who returns after missing last season due to injury. Cheserek won two individual titles last year at the outdoor championships in the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter. Allen was a national champion two years ago in the 110-meter hurdles.
Joining the Ducks in the top 25 are STANFORD at No. 12, USC at No. 16, COLORADO at No. 22 and No. 23 ARIZONA. The Trojans finished the season ranked in the top five last year, but will have to replace sprinter Andre De Grasse, a two-time national champion last year. The Cardinal also ended 2015 at No. 16, while the Wildcats were No. 19.
The Duck women are the defending NCAA Outdoor Champion, claiming their first national title last year in 30 years. Oregon welcomes back 800-meter national champion Raevyn Rogers and USTFCCCA West Region Track Athlete of the Year Jasmine Todd who was the 2015 Pac-12 100-meter champion.
USC returns a strong contingency that won five Pac-12 titles on the women’s side. The Trojan are ranked No. 4 in the preseason ranking, led by USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Coach of the Year Caryl Smith Gilbert. STANFORD is the only other women’s team ranked in the polling, coming in at No. 13 which is where it ended the 2015 campaign.
The next USTFCCCA ranking will be released on April 4. For more information, visit www.ustfccca.org.