MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Seeking a fifth consecutive Top 20 national finish, the West Virginia track and field team was given a No. 24 preseason ranking by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA) Thursday afternoon.
The Mountaineers earned 78.38 points in the preseason poll as the only BIG EAST institution to appear in the USTFCCCA preseason Top 25.
“Early season rankings are very tricky,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “It’s a tribute to the team that we’re predicted to have an impact on the national scene. That reality will be clearer come June.”
WVU returns three All-Americans from the 2011 outdoor roster, including Kate Harrison
(10,000m), Meghan Mock
(long jump) and six-time honoree Chelsea Carrier-Eades
(hurdles, heptathlon), along with multiple athletes who qualified for the NCAA East Regional a season ago.
The Mountaineers began the 2012 outdoor season last weekend at the Wake Forest Open, where eight athletes qualified for the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships and multiple school and personal records were broken. A total of 12 athletes have qualified for the league competition in May.
Oregon begins the year at No. 1 with 354 points, while LSU (291), USC (279), Clemson (264) and Arkansas (221) round out the top five. Reigning national champion Texas A&M was listed at No. 7 with 197 points.
West Virginia has this weekend off from competition, but will continue the outdoor season at the Texas Relays and Raleigh Relays from Mar. 28-31.