TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s track & field team will start their second consecutive decade off from the same position – No. 1 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Indoor Preseason National Rankings.
For the first time since the start of the 2010 season and the second time in the 12-year history of the USTFCCCA rankings, the Noles occupy the top spot in the preseason. FSU was also No. 1 to begin the inaugural USTFCCCA preseason poll in 2008.
“We’re really excited to be ranked No. 1,” said FSU coach Bob Braman. “It’s been the culmination of 3-4 years of hard work to get our men back into title contention.
“Obviously it only matters where you are on March 14, but this fuels their fire and helps shape their vision of a possibility of a national title.”
Winning an NCAA Indoor National Championship is one thing which has eluded Braman’s squads as he enters his 17th season at the helm of the program. The Seminoles hoisted three consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championship trophies (2006-08), and finished second and third at consecutive NCAA Indoor Championships in 2008 and 2009.
They will have an opportunity to write a new chapter in their history at the conclusion of the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships, set for March 13-14 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Led by junior hurdler Trey Cunningham, a member of The Bowerman preseason watch list, and senior sprinter Kasaun James, the Noles have the nation’s top-ranked athletes in the 60-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash, respectively.
In all, FSU’s men hold down seven top-five marks in the USTFCCCA’s individual event rankings. That group also includes transfer long jumpers Fabian Edoki and Isaac Grimes, as transfer miler Kasey Knevelbaard. And in addition to Cunningham, the Noles are also projected to receive NCAA scoring performances from transfer 60-meter hurdlers Caleb Parker and Braxton Canady.
“We have a veteran team so they know how to handle expectations,” Braman said. “They also know that someone else will likely be ranked No. 1 during the season and that it’s not a wire-to-wire challenge. Being healthy and peaking at the right time will always be the deciding factor in track & field.”
FSU’s men tied for sixth at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.
LSU, Southern Cal, Texas and Indiana round out the top five, with Texas A&M, Oregon, Arkansas, Florida and Colorado completing the top 10.
The Florida State women’s team checked in at No. 11 in the USTFCCCA Indoor Preseason Rankings, thanks in large part to the return of junior sprinters Ka’Tia Seymour and Jayla Kirkland, who are projected scorers in the 60- and 200-meter dashes.
The Noles women tied for 35th at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, with Seymour’s bronze medal 60-meter dash finish accounting for their entire point total.
Southern Cal tops the women’s preseason rankings, followed by defending champion Arkansas, Georgia, Texas and Texas A&M. Oregon, Minnesota South Carolina, New Mexico and Kentucky fill positions 6-10 in front of the Noles.
Florida State opens its indoor season on Saturday at Clemson’s Orange & Purple Elite meet.