NEW ORLEANS — For the second time in program history, the WKU men’s outdoor track and field team picked up a preseason Top-25 ranking, debuting at No. 23 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCC) poll. The preseason ranking is the highest for WKU in its storied history, coming two seasons after earning the No. 25 spot.
The Hilltoppers are coming off a second place finish at the Conference USA Indoor Championships. Ventavius Sears brought home the C-USA Men’s Field Performer of the Meet crown and earned First Team All-Conference honors (long jump, triple jump, 4x400m relay).
WKU saw five more athletes on the men’s side earn all-conference recognition as Jonathan Hayden won the 60-meter hurdles and Desmond Mobley tallied the third-best long jump mark. Joining Sears in the first place 4×400 meter relay were Emmanuel Dasor, Julius Morris and Maor Seged.
Under head coach Erik Jenkins, WKU’s highest team ranking during the outdoor season is 18th, which came following the 2014 Outdoor Track and Field Championships ranking.
“We have worked really hard to get to this point,” shared coach Jenkins. “I am excited about the outdoor season.”
WKU and Houston are once again the only two non-Power Five programs ranked in the Top 25 preseason poll, as the two programs did so back in 2015 as well. The Hilltoppers garnered 91.68 points in this year’s computer-compiled rankings, which was nearly 25 more points than any C-USA program. The next-highest ranked league team was Middle Tennessee at No. 33 (66.77).
The Red and White will begin their outdoor campaign this weekend at the Raleigh Relays hosted by N.C. State. Action is slated for Friday and Saturday from Raleigh, N.C.
How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Track & Field, follow the team on Twitter @WKUTrackField.