STARKVILLE, Miss. - According to the latest Division I National Team Computer Rankings, Mississippi State men's and women’s indoor track and field teams are ranked Top 15 in the country, as announced Monday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Bulldogs find themselves at No. 11, while coach Steve Dudley’s women are ranked 15th.
“It’s great to be ranked as some of the top teams in the nation,” Dudley said. “Our athletes have worked very hard to be here and deserve this recognition. Ultimately, we only hope to improve, and we are more concerned with our final ranking.”
Coming off a season that produced nine All-Americans, 14 school records, and 42 Top 5 all-time performances, MSU is set to have another successful campaign in 2014.
The men have four of last year’s seven All-Americans returning, while the women maintain junior standout Erica Bougard and add a strong set of freshmen to the mix. Bougard, who was awarded All-American and All-SEC honors last year, competed for Team USA at the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, where she ranked 24th in the heptathlon.
Only sophomores, Brandon McBride and Scottie Hearn look to be major leaders for the Bulldogs after gaining international attention in 2013. McBride, who earned Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year title last April, was crowned the 2013 Pan American Junior Champion in the 400-meter dash (45.89) in the fall. Following in McBride’s footsteps, Hearn represented Team USA in Medellin, Columbia, and finished second in the Pan-Am 400-meter hurdles (50.96).
Most recently, the Bulldogs kicked off their indoor season at the UAB Blazer Invite, posting top scores with wins in the men’s distance medley and women’s 500-meter dash.
The Maroon and White hit the road again this weekend, traveling to Birmingham, Ala., for the Auburn Invitational on Jan. 18.
USTFCCCA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Team Computer Rankings (Preseason – January 13)
5. Texas A&M
6. Penn State
7. Florida State
10. Oklahoma State
11. Mississippi State
16. Ole Miss
19. Virginia Tech
21. Arizona State
USTFCCCA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Team Computer Rankings (Preseason – January 13)
2. Texas A&M
11. South Carolina
15. Mississippi State
16. Kent State
19. Florida State
23. Arizona State