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BATON ROUGE – As many members of the LSU Track & Field program prepare to open the 2012 outdoor season this weekend while hosting the LSU Relays, both the Tigers and Lady Tigers claimed Top 3 rankings in the outdoor preseason national Top 25 power ranking released on Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Lady Tigers open the 2012 outdoor season as the No. 2-ranked squad nationally after winning a third-place finish in the final women’s team standings at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Drake Stadium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Tigers have earned a No. 3 national ranking to start the 2012 outdoor season following a 2011 season in which they earned a fourth-place finish in the men’s team standings at the NCAA Championships.
After completing the three-peat by winning their third-straight NCAA Indoor team titles two weeks ago at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, the Florida men and Oregon women begin the outdoor campaign as the No. 1-ranked teams in the NCAA in the USTFCCCA Preseason Top 25 power ranking.
Trailing the Ducks and Lady Tigers in the women’s preseason power ranking nationally is No. 3 Southern California, No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 Arkansas. Rounding out the Top 5 of the men’s preseason ranking is No. 2 Florida State, No. 4 Texas Tech and No. 5 Arkansas
The three-time defending NCAA Outdoor team champions from Texas A&M are just outside the Top 5 of the national rankings to start the outdoor season as the Aggie men are ranked No. 6 and the Aggie women are ranked No. 7 in the USTFCCCA Outdoor Preseason Top 25.
The USTFCCCA Outdoor Preseason Top 25 released on Thursday was compiled using only seasonal-best performances from the 2011 outdoor season for athletes returning to each team this season.
The Lady Tigers are sure to be led once again this season by junior sprint standout and Bowerman Award favorite Kimberlyn Duncan, who was the top point scorer among all competitors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a season ago when she scored 20.5 points individually in guiding the Lady Tigers to third place overall with 43.5 points in the final women’s team standings during the meet.
Duncan is the reigning NCAA Outdoor champion in the 200-meter dash and NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the 100-meter dash as she opens her junior season. She enjoyed a record-breaking showing in Des Moines a year ago when she set wind-legal PRs of 11.09 in the 100 meters and 22.24 in the 200 meters. Her effort in the 200-meter final also set the low-altitude collegiate record in the event.
Duncan also anchored the Lady Tigers to the NCAA title in the 4x100-meter relay with a seasonal-best of 42.64 in the national final. The Lady Tigers are a NCAA title favorite in the event again this season as the senior duo of Rebecca Alexander and Semoy Hackett are also back to defend their relay crown.
The Tigers boast returning firepower of their own in the form of a pair of returning NCAA Outdoor silver medalists in junior Damar Forbes in the long jump and their 4x400-meter relay team.
Forbes is the top-ranked long jumper returning for the 2012 season after setting a wind-legal personal best of 27 feet, 0 inches in earning a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a season ago.
This is also a season in which the Tigers are a favorite to take home the NCAA Outdoor title for the 4x400 relay as they return all four legs that ran the second-fastest time in school history at 3 minutes, 1.07 seconds in the national final a year ago. That includes a return to the lineup for senior Ade Alleyne-Forte, senior Riker Hylton, senior Robert Simmons and junior Caleb Williams.
USTFCCCA Preseason Top 25
Team (Points) Last Year
1. Oregon (354.70) 2
2. LSU (291.71) 3
3. Southern California (279.91) 6
4. Clemson (264.83) 7
5. Arkansas (221.81) 14
6. Oklahoma (201.41) 4
7. Texas A&M (197.31) 1
8. Texas (186.89) 8
9. Texas Tech (167.80) 54
10. Kansas (159.21) 23
11. Florida (155.72) 34
12. Central Florida (134.46) 17
13. Baylor (131.66) 38
14. Tennessee (127.20) 11
15. Auburn (117.66) 14
16. Georgia (115.82) 40
17. Arizona State (115.50) 19
18. Arizona (111.74) 5
19. Kansas State (110.72) 13
20. Nebraska (100.74) 32
21. Stanford (99.72) 8
22. Southern Miss (83.57) 10
23. UTEP (80.32) DNS
24. West Virginia (78.38) T20
25. Florida State (78.09) T20
Team (Points) Last Year
1. Florida (273.50) 3
2. Florida State (261.88) 2
3. LSU (225.30) 4
4. Texas Tech (225.30) 9
5. Arkansas (222.28) 10
6. Texas A&M (204.01) 1
7. Texas (183.06) 12
8. Indiana (162.12) 20
9. Georgia (157.89) 54
10. Virginia Tech (157.60) 5
11. Arizona (156.80) 7
12. Baylor (143.90) 32
13. Southern California (138.04) 12
14. Mississippi State (136.67) 20
15. Nebraska (135.59) 38
16. Oregon (134.63) 10
17. Stanford (124.11) 6
18. Iowa (119.62) 46
19. Wisconsin (107.79) DNS
20. Arizona State (107.50) 25
21. Ole Miss (98.75) 19
22. Princeton (97.99) 32
23. Oklahoma (93.90) 20
24. Auburn (92.77) DNS
25. Ohio State (83.22) DNS



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