MOUNTAIN VEW, California – The NCAA Outdoor men’s formchart from Track & Field News was released today and the magazine has Texas A&M tabbed as the favorite for the team title this June.
The Aggies are predicted to score 68 points with defending NCAA Outdoor champion Florida a close second at 66. Then there is a gap in predicted points back to NCAA Indoor champion Arkansas (49) with Florida State (41) and Auburn (40) rounding out the top five teams.
“It’s good to be considered and it’s nice that our team is recognized as being a program to contend with,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry, who has won 33 NCAA titles during his coaching career at LSU (27 titles) and Texas A&M (6 titles). “For us it’s about getting better every week right now, staying healthy and being ready when it’s time to compete.”
Between Texas A&M and Florida there should be at least five events in which the two programs go to head-to-head during the NCAA meet – 200, 400, 110 hurdles, 4x400 and javelin. The current formchart has the Aggies with 10 scorers in eight events while the Gators have 11 scorers in 10 events.
Since the modern scoring system (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1) came into play at the NCAA Championships in 1985, never have two teams been able to crack the 60-point barrier, as both A&M and Florida are predicted to do this season.
The Gators won the 2012 NCAA title following a three-year championship run by the Aggies, who won their 2009 title by two points and then had a one-point margin of victory in claiming NCAA championships in 2010 and 2011.
Texas A&M returns three silver medalists from last year’s NCAA meet – Sam Humphreys, javelin; Wayne Davis II, 110 hurdles, and Ameer Webb, 200 meters. All three are favored by the magazine to win their respective events in 2013.
Another Aggie favorite in the 3,000-meter steeplechase is Henry Lelei, who placed fourth in the 2012 NCAA race. Lelei had a secure hold on second place during the final stages of the race, but fell at the last barrier.
In the relay events Track & Field News has the Aggie 4 x 100 placing third behind Auburn and Florida State while the 4 x 400 is tabbed to finish second to Florida.
Other scoring opportunities for A&M that the magazine forecasts include Deon Lendore and Aldrich Bailey, Jr, placing fourth and sixth in the 400; Dalton Rowan, fourth in the discus; and Prezel Hardy, Jr., eighth in the 200.
TRACK & FIELD NEWS NCAA OUTDOOR
1. Texas A&M 68
2. Florida 66
3. Arkansas 49
4. Florida State 41
5. Auburn 40
6. Oregon 35
7. USC 30
8. Texas Tech 27
Virginia Tech 27
10. Wisconsin 25
11. UCLA 24
12. LSU 22
13. Indiana 21
15. UT Arlington 19
16. Oklahoma State 17
17. Texas 16
18. Nebraska 15
19. Northern Arizona 13
20. Arizona State 11