The Baylor women’s track and field team was ranked No. 13 in the preseason edition of the NCAA National Team Computer Rankings that the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released recently.
The No. 13 preseason ranking is the second-highest in program history, behind only last year’s preseason ranking of No. 11. Baylor has now been ranked inside the top-20 at one point in each of the last eight seasons.
BU racked up a total of 54.99 points in the computer-generated rankings. The points are compiled by a mathematical formula based on national descending order lists from 2016 of returning athletes.
The Lady Bears got a large portion of their points from Annie Rhodes, who is second in the pole vault. The women also received points from Cion Hicks, who is fourth in the shot put. Taylor Bennett is the lone individual ranked in two events for BU with the 11th and seventh best 60 and 200-meter times, respectively.
Maggie Montoya (mile), Rachel Toliver (triple jump), Jenna Pfeiffer (pentathlon) and both the 4x400-meter and distance medley relays also contributed to the overall total with top marks in 2016.
The women didn’t score any points at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, but return several indoor All-Americans from 2015, including seniors Montoya and Rhodes.
Meanwhile, the men’s squad will begin 2017 just outside the top 25 at No. 27 with four top-25 event marks, including Wil London and George Caddick with the nation’s ninth and 17th-best 400-meter times, respectively. The Bears got the bulk of their points from 4x400-meter squad’s second-best time, while Rhys Phillips owns the 18th-best 60-meter hurdle mark. Baylor placed 34th at last season’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
Baylor will open the season with the Texas A&M Team Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 14 in College Station, Texas.