The national preseason computer rankings for 2014 were released Monday (Jan. 13) and both the Arkansas State University men's and women's indoor teams are listed among the NCAA Division I's top 50 teams in their respective genders by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA).
The A-State women's team is ranked 32nd nationally of 135 schools and owns the distinction of being tops among the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) member schools. The Red Wolves, who are coached by Jim Patchell, amassed a 32.02 points total. A season ago, A-State claimed the indoor title in the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships (2/24-25) by registering a first-place 122.5 points and then garnering second-place honors in the conference outdoor championships (5/10-12) by registering a 131-points team total.
Texas earned top billing with a first-place 177.09 points followed by Texas A&M, which compiled a 155.74 team total for second place. Florida is ranked third with 146.61 points, Oregon has a fourth-place 126.09 total, and Georgia rounds out the top five by accumulating a 96.86 team score.
For the men, Arkansas State occupies 46th place as a result of posting a 19.07 points total within the 146 ranked teams. The Red Wolves along with 31st-place UT Arlington (28.29 team total) are the Sun Belt Conference's highest ranked teams in the national preseason rankings. The A-State men's squad turned in a productive 2012-13 campaign as the Red Wolves generated a third-place 104 points showing in the conference indoor championships meet (2/24-25) before achieving second-place accolades in the outdoor championships (5/10-12) with a 131 points output.
The national preseason rankings for both the A-State women's and men's teams represents their highest placings in several seasons. Patchell along with assistants Matt Kraft, Matt Vining, Jarius Cooper, Kyle Chandler, and volunteer Jason Brooks comprise the A-State coaching staff.
Selected Arkansas State athletes will be competing this weekend (Jan. 17-18) in the Kentucky Collegiate Track and Field Invitational in Lexington, Ky., before the Red Wolves will field full squads for the non-scoring A-State Invitational to be held Friday, Jan. 24, in Jonesboro, Ark.