The Florida Gators men's and women's indoor track and field teams are set to begin the season ranked in the Top 5 of the U. S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll which was released yesterday.
The men's team, which won their third straight indoor national championship last season, will start out of the blocks ranked No. 2 behind the Arkansas Razorbacks. That's not really a surprise, considering that the Razorbacks have had one of the top track and field (and cross country, for that matter) programs for the last half-century.
Also of note: the Razorbacks finished the indoor season last year ranked No. 2, so an interesting rivalry appears to be developing, and rather quickly.
On the other side of the track, the women will start the season ranked No. 5 in the same poll, behind Clemson, Kansas, Oregon and LSU. The Gators women, who won the indoor SEC crown last season, look to build off that success and appear to have a great shot at repeating.
The men's team will be lead by seven returning Indoor All-Americans, while the women's team returns nine. And the poll is dominated by the SEC, but that shouldn't surprise anybody: The SEC just doesn't dominate in football and we all know that by now.
On the individual side of things, senior jumper Omar Craddock was placed on The Bowerman watch list for the 2013 season. The nomination comes as no surprise for the reigning indoor and outdoor triple-jump national champion who also claimed indoor and outdoor SEC championships as well.
In case you're wondering, The Bowerman is the track and fields equivalent to the Heisman Trophy.
Congratulations are in order for both the men's and women's teams, and to Craddock. Now let's see what they can do on the track and not just on paper.