STARKVILLE, Miss. – Boasting four wins at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational paid off for the Mississippi State men’s and women’s track and field teams as they currently hold the No. 12 and No. 16 spots, respectively, in the latest USTFCCCA Team Rankings released on Tuesday.
“We are pleased to be recognized as two of the top programs in the country, but staying in the same position as the preseason rankings gives us motivation to keep improving,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “It is the final ranking at the end of the season that really matters.”
The Bulldogs' early-season success can be seen by nearly 40 combined Top 5 finishes through four meets, eight of which are first-place performances.
Most recently, the Bulldog quartet comprised of Scottie Hearn, Brandon McBride, Patrick Monaghan and Damian Roszko clocked a 9:44.28 at Vanderbilt to finish ahead of all competitors by an outstanding nine seconds in the men’s distance medley relay. The foursome’s winning time currently ranks fifth in the nation in the event.
Additionally, MSU compliments its racing talents with exceptional field performances. Marcus Jackson cleared 7-03.75 in the high jump last weekend to finish second and qualify for NCAA Indoor Nationals. All-American Erica Bougard will join him in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 12-15 as she posted the best long jump of the day in Nashville with a leap of 21-11.00.
The Southeastern Conference currently has seven teams in the men’s USTFCCCA Top 25, as Arkansas and Florida hold the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively. On the women’s side, eight SEC teams can be found in this week’s rankings, owning spots 3-8, 11 and 15.
MSU will remain off the road until it travels to New York City on Feb. 7 for the New Balance Invitational.