TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State track & field teams will head into Friday’s FSU Relays on the national radar – and with plenty of impressive company, competitively – following Monday’s release of the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) Preseason National Ratings Index.
The Seminole women will begin the season with a No. 6 national ranking, while the men check in at No. 11.
“I think that’s probably a fair ranking of where we are,” FSU coach Bob Braman said. “I don’t know that it’s an indication of what our potential is. Both teams feel like at season’s end they have a chance to contend to win and certainly a top-five finish. That’s what they’re excited about.
“That’s about as high as we’ve been in a long time outdoors. We’re happy to be there and it’s certainly a good launching off point.”
At No. 6, the Florida State women hold the second-highest preseason ranking in the history of the ratings index, which dates to 2008. The 2010 team began the year at No. 5. The women were also inside the top 10 in the preseason in 2011 (No. 8) and 2015 (No. 9).
The Seminole men, at No. 11, own their highest preseason ranking since 2015, when they started off at No. 9. From 2008-2015 the Noles were a top-10 fixture in the preseason rankings, highlighted by their No. 1 selection in 2008 when they moved on to hoist their third consecutive NCAA Championship trophy.
Both teams will get a very early measure of where they stand following Friday’s day of action at Mike Long Track as four of the seven visiting women’s teams are ranked among the top-25, while two men’s teams rank among the top four.
The Florida women check in at No. 10 and Alabama is at No. 12, followed by Virginia Tech (No. 18) and Georgia Tech (No. 25). Auburn, Liberty and Pitt will round out the field.
Alabama arrives with the highest ranked men’s squad, checking at No. 3 and followed closely by No. 4 Florida, which is fresh off its NCAA Indoor team title. The Noles finished sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The USTFCCCA Track & Field Ratings Index compiles the verified performances of returning athletes from each team and applies a numeric value to each based on national ranking per event to generate a team total. Neither relay teams nor first-year freshmen are factored into the rankings.
FSU’s women are buoyed by a wealth of talent in the field events. Rougui Sow and Jogaile Petrokaite rank first and sixth, respectively, in the long jump. Also checking in individually at No. 6 nationally are Shanice Love (discus), Veronika Kanuchova (hammer) and Lauri Paredes (javelin).
The ladies are also receiving significant points from sprinters and hurdlers Ka’Tia Seymour, Jayla Kirkland, Shauna Helps, Cortney Jones, Peta-Gay Williams and Ashley Miller. Eleonora Ormoregie (high jump), Militsa Mircheva (10,000 meters) and Nadia Maffo (hammer) also factor into the Noles’ total, which trails only USC, Texas A&M, LSU, Arkansas and Oregon.
Andre Ewers ranks first in the 200 and second in the 100 among returning men and drives the Noles’ team total. Armani Wallace (triple jump), Trey Cunningham (110 hurdles), Kasaun James (200) and Christoff Bryan (high jump) also provide significant points to the men’s team total as projected top-10 performers. Darryl Haraway (100), James (100), Sanjae Lawrence (shot put), Michael Timpson (100) and Tyricke Highman (110 hurdles) make up the balance of the team scoring profile.
Texas Tech and Texas A&M sit 1-2 in the men’s preseason rankings, followed by the aforementioned Crimson Tide and Gators. BYU, Houston, Oregon, Texas, LSU and Georgia round out the top 10.