Saturday, April 30, 2016

Buccaneers Select NCCU’s Ryan Smith in NFL Draft

TAMPA, Florida – Legendary sports broadcaster Dick Vitale announced North Carolina Central University cornerback Ryan Smith as the 108th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Smith becomes NCCU's second NFL draft pick in the last 25 years. Smith and defensive end Greg Peterson, who was also chosen by Tampa Bay in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, are the only Eagles selected in the draft since defensive back Robert Massey went in the second round to the Saints in 1989.

Prior to his announcement, Smith received multiple calls from NFL teams while at his home in Upper Marlboro, Maryland on Saturday, but then came the call that changed his life from a representative of the Buccaneers. "'Ryan, we are going to make you a Buc,'" Smith remembers the caller saying. "My heart dropped. It's amazing."

During Smith's visit to Tampa, Florida prior to the draft, he was impressed, saying "I can see myself playing here for these coaches." Then Smith added, "They have the best facilities I have ever seen."

He said the Buccaneers "like my quickness, my burst and my attitude on the field."

As far as what Buccaneers fans should expect from Smith, he said "I have a chip on my shoulder. I have been doubted my whole life. I am going to give it my all and 10 times more. All my life I've been doubted. All my life I've had to work hard and prove myself. There's nothing new here. I still have something to prove. They are going to see why I should have gone earlier in this draft."

Smith is looking forward to the opportunity to learn in the NFL. "I know there's a lot to learn. I know I'm raw and I'm nowhere near my best ability," he said. "I want to see how great I can be."

Mark Dulgerian of the NFL Network provided this analysis of Smith: "One of Tampa's biggest needs was cornerback and they've addressed it again with one of the 'sleepers' in this draft. Smith is a quicker-than-fast cover corner with flashy ball skills. With some of their current CBs nearing contract years, Smith has long-term starting potential."

Smith is slated to leave Maryland for Florida on Thursday as his NFL journey continues.

Smith capped his standout NCCU tenure from 2012-15 with a school career record 168 solo tackles, while finishing sixth in career tackles with 263 and 11th in passes defended with 31 (seven interceptions and 24 pass break-ups).

As a senior, he ranked third in MEAC with team-best 11 passes defended (two interceptions and nine pass break-ups), while adding 52 tackles (38 solo). Smith also led conference and ranked 10th in the nation with an average of 28.1 yards per kickoff return (14 for 394 yards, 1 TD).

After helping to lead the Eagles to their second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship, Smith graduated from NCCU on Dec. 12, 2015, with a degree in criminal justice.


Former SCSU standout Hemingway drafted by L.A. Rams


MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina -- All every child wants is to make their mother smile.

Mere mention of his name making his mother beam with joy, Temarrick Hemingway certainly knew his accomplishments – chief among them finishing his education at South Carolina State and becoming a well-rounded young man – made her proud.

However, the depths to which her pride dwelled were unveiled Saturday afternoon, a day for which the Loris native will file in his memory bank for the rest of his life.

Hemingway was selected by the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, taken in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. The former South Carolina State tight end was the draft’s overall 177th pick.

The accomplishment warranted a phone call from his mother, who was so overtaken with emotion she had to hang up and call back, according to the local gridiron star.

“All I heard was her crying, and how proud she was of me,” Hemingway said. “It’s a step into a new situation, a pretty neat one at that.”

Hemingway wavered during his time at North Myrtle Beach High School as to which sport he should play in college, finding it tough deciding between football or basketball.


Nuggets' Goreau chosen regional rookie of the year

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Charlene Goreau has been named the NAIA Region IV (South) Rookie of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Goreau, a freshman from Toulouse, France, and a graduate of Raymond Naves School, had a tough act to follow: replace two-time All-American Nour Abbes, who transferred from Xavier to the University of Washington, at No. 1 singles. But Goreau sparkled, winning 15-of-20 decisions, including 10 in a row, and earning a No. 18 national ranking.
Goreau has four singles victories vs. NCAA Division I players, two against nationally ranked NAIA opponents and two against regionally ranked NAIA players. Goreau is a three-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week and has led the Gold Nuggets to a No. 16 national team ranking.
The Gold Nuggets (8-13) have concluded their regular season and are not scheduled to play in a conference or unaffiliated group tournament. They'll learn May 9 if they qualified for the NAIA National Championship at Mobile, Ala.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Gold Rush garner three ITA/NAIA awards in Region IV

NEW ORLEANS — For the first time in the history of the Xavier University of Louisiana men's program, the Gold Rush have earned three Intercollegiate Tennis Association/NAIA Region IV (South) awards in one season.

Xavier's honorees are:
     •  Alan Green, Coach of the Year.
     •  Loic Didavi, Assistant Coach of the Year.
     •  Kyle Montrel, Senior Player of the Year.

This is Green's third ITA men's regional award in the last five seasons. His Gold Rush are 13-6 this season with a school-record five victories against NCAA Division I opponents. Xavier's No. 3 national ranking is its highest ever.

Didavi, in his second season as an XU assistant, was the ITA/NAIA National and Regional Senior Player of the Year for Xavier in 2012-13.

"Loic has been instrumental in player development, and he has been a good mentor for our new players this season," Green said. "His overall input in our success has been crucial."

Montrel, a three-time ITA/NAIA All-American, is ranked 10th nationally in singles and 19th in doubles. Last season he received the ITA/NAIA Region IV Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. Montrel is from Atlanta and a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy.

The Gold Rush will compete next Friday (May 6) in an NAIA unaffiliated group qualifying tournament at Lawrenceville, Ga.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Search begins for next Head Men's Basketball Coach at XULA

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has posted online its job description for head men's basketball coach.
The job description, in a PDF format, is available here. Applicants can apply for the job online by creating a profile at the XU Human Resources web page.

Link to XU staff openings.

Recommendations for the position may be sent to XU Director of Athletics and Recreation Jason Horn by email ( or phone (504-520-7329).

Xavier seeks to replace Dannton Jackson, recently hired as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Xavier was 21-12 in 2015-16 and qualified for the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship for a school-record sixth consecutive time. The Gold Rush were runner-up in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament each of the past two seasons.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Maroon wins Bethune-Cookman spring game

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Redshirt freshman quarterback Akevious Williams manufactured a last-minute scoring drive to help Maroon to a 20-17 come-from-behind victory over Gold in the sixth annual Maroon and Gold Spring Showcase at Municipal Stadium on Saturday, April 30.

The 16-yard touchdown from Williams to Jaymonte McLeod with 44 seconds remaining capped off an 80-yard march that allowed the Madison, Florida native to rebound from two early interceptions and end both the game and spring practice on a positive note.

From the start of spring practices, a friendly rivalry between quarterbacks Williams and redshirt sophomore Larry Brihm, Jr. has developed with a good-natured talk between the two Sunshine State products.

“I’m going to until I can’t talk anymore,” said Williams, who finished 11 of 18 for 147 yards, including a 6-yard score to Karim Bryant in the second quarter. “All I heard was Gold was going to do this, and Gold was going to do that. Now I have bragging rights.”

Williams, who might have had the better luck of draw when the Wildcats’ loaded receiving corps was dispersed among the two teams, set the tone on the final drive with a 50-yard strike to Jawill Davis. A 14-yarder to Jaime Wilson followed, then McLeod bounced off a Gold defender and found the right side of the end zone for the score.

“When I went back, I didn’t think I was going to hit Jawill [Davis]”, Williams said. “Then I saw he had 1-on-1 coverage and I just took my chances. Once he caught it, I knew it was going to be a big play.

“Finishing the game like that is a big confidence booster,” Williams added. “But I know it’s about getting better each and every drive.”

Brihm, the only returning quarterback with game experience from the 2015 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title season, completed 14 of 28 passes for 167 yards for the Gold team in a consistent effort.

The Gold squad scored on all three red zone possessions, the first two off a turnover and short punt, then a solid 80-yard match in which Brihm connected with Ja-Quan Lumas for 35 yards and Courtney Lowery for 22.

“He [Williams] pushes me every day, I push him,” said Brihm, whose touchdown pass was a tipped 5-yarder to Kendon Davis in the first quarter. “I feel like he’s going to be good and I’m going to be good for the upcoming season.”

A slow start from both teams’ offense gave early attention to the defense, most notably Diquan Richardson, who registered the two picks of Williams for the Gold.

Richardson’s coming off a solid season – he was the fourth leading tackler. But with the secondary needing to replace two starters, he’s trying to elevate himself as a playmaker.

“I’ve had some goals, and today was about showing my work,” Richardson said. “My line got pressure on the quarterback, so I’m grateful for my teammates.”

Other game highlights include the following:
- Uriel Hernandez handled kicking duties for both teams and went 3-3 on field goals and 4-4 on PATs
- Wilson had 88 yards on three catches
- Romary Corneille had an interception that set up the first Gold touchdown.
- Taivion Butler had two sacks

Other than the slow start, head coach Terry Sims, recently completing his first year at the helm in Daytona Beach, liked what he saw.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of guys trying to make plays,” Sims said. “That fourth quarter was Wildcats football.”

The official Bethune-Cookman football schedule is now available at

The 2016 B-CU Football schedule includes five (5) home games at Municipal Stadium, including the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. The Wildcats welcome Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponent Alcorn State for the annual event presented by ESPN. The date is set for Sunday, Sept. 4, with a time to be determined later. The schedule also includes home games against Tennessee State (Sept. 17), North Carolina Central (Oct. 1), North Carolina A&T (Oct. 15) and Delaware State (Oct. 29). The regular season concludes November 19, with the Florida Blue Florida Classic.

Follow Bethune-Cookman Athletics on Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram ( for all of the latest news and updates. Fans also receive timely information, including specialE offers and giveaways throughout the year, via the social media outlets or


ASU Baseball Eludes Weather, Tops Braves In Seven, Wins 30 For Fourth Straight Year

LORMAN, Mississippi –  Alabama State defeated Alcorn St. 16-1 in seven innings in a game to earn their 30th win of the season.

The contest, which started at 11 a.m., was delayed just before noon due to lightning, which preceded the rain. The Hornets led 6-0 in the bottom of the second and, after the game was called and scheduled to resume at 11 a.m. Sunday, the weather cleared and the game resumed after about a 5 ½-hour delay.

Tyler Howe (8-2) pitched six innings, allowed four hits, one unearned run, walked none and struck out seven as the Hornets (30-14) reached the 30-win mark for the fourth straight season and improved to 20-0 in SWAC play. Howe threw 80 pitches, 62 for strikes in the victory, as the teams will play the final game of the series Sunday at 11 a.m.

Every Hornet position starter had at least one hit in the 14-hit attack. Carlos Ocasio scored four times and drove in two, Yamil Pagan scored three runs, and Chris Biocic and Ray Hernandez each drove in three runs as the Hornets won their seventh straight game.

Alabama State took advantage of being hit by pitch seven times, four in the five-run third that broke the game open. The only hit in the inning was an Oscar Prioleau single to right. Pagan and Ocasio were each hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home runs in the inning.

The Hornets scored in the first as Dillon Cooper was hit by pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Pagan. After an RBI on a fielder's choice by Chris Biocic, an RBI single by Hernandez scored Ocasio for a 3-0 lead.

Pagan led off the second with a double to left center, and advanced to third on a groundout. Ocasio then singled to right field, scoring Pagan. Cooper then doubled to left field, as Ocasio moved to third. That set the table for Biocic, who's two-run single to right cleared the bases for a 6-0 lead.
That was more than enough for Howe who, following the weather delay, pitched out of a two-on, one out situation against the Braves (14-27, 9-12). In his last three starts, Howe has allowed eight singles, one unearned run and struck out 23 batters.


The SWAC remembers former TSU lineman Winston Hill

DENVER, Colorado -- Winston Hill, a former New York Jets offensive lineman who made eight All-Pro teams and protected the blindside of quarterback Joe Namath during the team’s only Super Bowl victory, in 1969, died on earlier this week in Denver. He was 74.

His death was announced by the Jets. His sister Sharon Hill Cranford said the cause was heart failure.

Hill joined the Jets in 1963, the first year they played under that name. (The previous name was the Titans.) In his rookie year, he began a streak of 195 consecutive games played, including 174 consecutive starts. Both streaks remain Jets records.

Playing left tackle, right tackle and center, Hill was responsible for keeping Namath’s jersey clean from attacking defenders. He was part of a line that helped Matt Snell run for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Jets’ underdog win over Baltimore in Super Bowl III, still remembered for Namath’s brash guarantee of victory.

Baltimore drafted Hill in the 11th round in 1963 out of Texas Southern University, where he was an all-American, but he was released by the Colts before ever playing for them and signed with the Jets. After 14 seasons with the Jets, Hill played his final one in 1977 with the Los Angeles Rams.

“Winston is a very analytical person, always searching for a better method of doing things,” Wimp Hewgley, the Jets’ offensive coach, said in 1971. “He’s always asking if he’s doing the correct thing. If not, he wants to know why. It’s the kind of thing you would expect from a rookie, not someone who has been around all these years.”

Hill was born on Oct. 23, 1941, in Joaquin, Tex., and was a high school tennis champion in Gladewater, Tex.

In addition to his sister Ms. Cranford, he is survived by his mother, Eulalia Hill Allen; his daughters, Hovlyn Hill May and Heather Hill; his son, Marc-Arthur Hill; two other sisters, Brenda Cole and Rhonda Saldivar; and three grandchildren.

After retiring in 1977, Hill opened a barbecue restaurant in Denver. In 1991, he opened another one with Ron Mitchell, naming it Winston Hill’s Ribs and Stuff, which remains open. He continued to work there, often sitting down and chatting with customers, until health problems emerged in recent years, Mitchell said.

Hill was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and often discussed the power of meditation and prayer. Heather Hill said he had coached and mentored young football players at the Joe Namath Football Camp for 44 years.


SCSU's Hargrave drafted by NFL Steelers

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina -- South Carolina State senior defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, a native of Salisbury, N.C., who played at North Rowan High School, was drafted 89th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the National Football League Draft on Friday evening.

Hargrave was the anchor of South Carolina State’s top-ranked Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference defensive unit the past two seasons. He is the MEAC’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time first-team FCS All-American.

Hargrave played in the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, before impressing scouts in his NFL Combine workout and interview sessions.

After the 2015 season, Hargrave was awarded his second consecutive SBN/Mel Blount Defensive Player of the Year award at the BCF Hall of Fame and Sheridan Broadcasting Network College Football Awards Ceremony in Atlanta.

The 6-foot-2, 295-pound lineman collected 43 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles and 13.5 sacks in an 11-game senior season.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No. 3 Gold Rush could meet No. 1 Grizzlies next week

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana and Georgia Gwinnett, two of the NAIA's highest-rated men's tennis teams, finally could meet next week in an unaffiliated group qualifying tournament.

Georgia Gwinnett, Xavier and two teams from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will meet May 6 at Lawrenceville, Ga., in a one-day, two-round event to determine one of the 13 automatic bids to the NAIA National Championships.

Tuesday the NAIA announced its seventh top 25 of the season. The top six are the same for the fourth consecutive poll, including Xavier (13-6) at No. 3 and Georgia Gwinnett — 20-0 and the two-time defending national champion — at No. 1.

Xavier and Georgia Gwinnett were scheduled to meet the third weekend of February in the Grizzlies' Green and Gray Invitational, but two consecutive days of rain washed out that opportunity.

At the unaffiliated group tournament, also to be played at Georgia Gwinnett, the Gold Rush and Grizzlies could not meet until the championship round. Xavier's semifinal opponent could be 25th-ranked Asbury, which won the KIAC regular season and will compete in that conference's postseason tournament this week. The KIAC has five teams, one fewer than needed to make it an automatic-bid conference in that sport.

A Xavier-Georgia Gwinnett matchup would be the third in four seasons for the Gold Rush against an NAIA No. 1. Xavier lost to Auburn Montgomery in 2013 and to Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in 2014.

The top-25 appearance is the 75th in a row for the Gold Rush (12-5). It's Xavier's 45th straight top-10 ranking and fifth consecutive appearance at No. 3.

Key dates for the postseason:
     •  May 8:  Announcement of final top 25 before the national tournament.
     •  May 9:  NAIA announces the 24 teams which qualified for the national tournament.
     •  May 10:  Bracket announcement for the 2016 NAIA National Championships.
     •  May 17:  First round of national tournament at Mobile, Ala. . . . Afternoon start for men's duals.
     •  May 18:  Second round . . . If Xavier is eighth or higher in the May 8 poll, this is the day it would play its first dual of the tournament.
     •  May 21:  Championship round.

NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through April 10)

1Georgia Gwinnett (13)20-03431
2Auburn Montgomery18-43312
4Northwestern Ohio13-33104
5Dalton State17-52995
7Lindsey Wilson14-32767
8Coastal Georgia12-32678
9San Diego Christian9-32559
10William Carey12-724510
12-tieCardinal Stritch13-721514
12-tieLewis-Clark State11-921513
16Bethany (Kan.)12-217521
18Olivet Nazarene13-714719
21Middle Georgia11-912520

Dropped from rankings:  No. 23 Cumberland, No. 25 Marian (Ind.)
Others receiving votes:  Marian (Ind.) 58, Tennessee Wesleyan 49, Cumberland 33, Southeastern (Fla.) 30, William Woods 20, Biola 13, Indiana Tech 8, Indiana Wesleyan 7, Arizona Christian 6, Loyola 6, Missouri Baptist 3

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Hill, Thibodeaux are XU Medal of Honor recipients

NEW ORLEANS — Jodi Hill (women's volleyball) and Jarvis Thibodeaux (men's basketball) received Xavier University of Louisiana Medal of Honor awards Monday evening during an athletic department ceremony which honored all nine XU teams.
This was the debut of a revamped end-of-year event in which award winners competed with student-athletes from other XU sports. The Medal of Honor was presented to the senior female and male student-athlete who best define the qualities of scholarship, athletics, leadership and service.
Hill, from Prairieville, La., and a graduate of Dutchtown High School, is a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. She was All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament as a junior and a senior. Hill was named best trial advocate at the IIT Chicago-Kent Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars program, and she was one of 20 nationwide to be selected as a James S. Kemper Foundation Scholar.
Thibodeaux, from Houston and a graduate of St. Pius X High School, was a starter the past two years. His 17 rebounds Dec. 3 at Loyola are the most in a game by a Gold Rush player in the last 12 seasons. Earlier this month at XU's Division of Business awards ceremony, Thibodeaux received Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and the division's outstanding student-athlete award. Nearly half of this year's XU student-athletes are business majors.
Medal of Honor finalists were Emoni Harvey of women's basketball (Memphis, Tenn., and Briarcrest Christian School), Chelsea James of women's track and field (Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City High School), Kevin Chaouat of men's tennis (Sarcelles, France/home-schooled), and Brent Kitto of men's track and cross country (Chalmette, La./Holy Cross High School).
Additional recipients were:
•  Male Athlete of the Year:  Morris Wright, basketball (Zachary, La./Zachary High School and Baton Rouge Community College) . . . Finalists were Christopher August, track and cross country (Spring Texas/Klein Collins High School) and Thomas Setodji, tennis (Domont, France/home-schooled).
•  Female Athlete of the Year:  Whitney Gathright, basketball (New Orleans/John Curtis Christian School) . . . Finalists were Charlene Goreau, tennis (Toulouse, France/Raymond Naves School) and Claudia Haywood, volleyball (Memphis/Cordova High School).
•  Female Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Franziska Pirkl, volleyball (Munich, Germany/Theodolinden Gymnasium) . . . Finalists were Taylor Reuther, volleyball (Metairie, La./St. Mary's Dominican High School) and Alesha Smith, basketball (Athens, Ga./Clarke Central High School).
•  Male Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Karan Salwan, tennis (New Delhi, India/ Modern School) . . . Finalists were Adam Albrecht, tennis (Ladna, Czech Republic/Gymnasium Breclav) and Langston Adams, track and field (Baton Rouge, La./Christian Life Academy).
•  Female Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Sha'Nel Bruins, tennis (Colfax, La./Grant High School) . . . Finalists were Terri Cunningham, track and field (Nashville, Tenn./Martin Luther King Magnet High School) and Brandi Nelson, tennis (Jonesboro, Ga./Faith Academy).
•  Male Newcomer of the Year:  Setodji . . . Finalists were Elex Carter, basketball (LaPlace, La./East St. John High School) and Keairez Coleman, track and field (Harrisville, Miss./Mendenhall High School).
•  Female Newcomer of the Year:  Goreau . . . Finalists were Kayla Quincy, track and field (Avondale, La./Xavier Preparatory High School) and Kiera Robinson, basketball (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Summit High School).
Sister Grace Mary Flickinger, Xavier's longtime faculty representative to athletics, received a framed honorary letterwinner's award as thanks for her service to the department.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Darrell Walker Named New Coach of Clark Atlanta Men's Basketball

ATLANTA, Georgia -- Former NBA player and head coach Darrell Walker has been named as the next head coach of the Clark Atlanta University men's basketball program.

Walker will be embarking on his first collegiate coaching opportunity with more than a decade of NBA coaching experience, including 56 victories as a head coach in the league. Walker has also headed up teams in the WNBA and CBA.

Beyond his professional coaching experience, Walker was an All-American player at the University of Arkansas under legendary coach Eddie Sutton. After playing out his days with the Razorbacks, Walker was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. Over a professional playing career spanning 10 seasons, Walker was able to end his career as a member of the NBA Champion Chicago Bulls in the 1992-93 season.

During a playoff series his rookie season in New York, Walker set franchise bests for steals in a playoff game (seven) and series (15). As a player with the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) from 1987-91, Walker dished out 1,707 assists to sit eighth on the franchise career assist chart. He also ranked in the top-5 for guards in rebounding for three consecutive seasons and also had a season where he was in the top-10 in the NBA in assists per game.

Walker is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a B.S. in Human Resources. His time at UA was commemorated in 2008 as he was inducted into the Hall of Honor by ranking among the all-time Razorbacks leaders in assists (10th) and steals (fourth). He has also men named to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (2003).

Coaching Timeline:
1995-96 | Toronto Raptors | Assistant Coach
1996-98 | Toronto Raptors | Head Coach | 41-90 (.313)
1999-00 | Rockford Lightning | Head Coach
1999-00 | Washington Wizards | Head Coach | 15-23 (.395)
2000 | Washington Mystics | Head Coach | 14-18 (.438)
2004-08 | New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets | Assistant Coach
2008-11 | Detroit Pistons | Assistant Coach
2011-14 | New York Knicks | Assistant Coach
WNBA Head Coaching Record | 14-18 (.438)
NBA Head Coaching Record | 56-113 (.331)


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Saint Augustine's Falcons Remain No. 1 in both USTFCCA Polls For Fourth Straight Week

Tia-Adana Belle Set The Division II National Record In The Women's 400 Hurdles At The CIAA Outdoor Championships

NEW ORLEANS – With only a month left in the countdown to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Bradenton, Florida, on May 26-28, teams continue to jockey for position in the latest edition of the National Team Computer Rankings.

Only six top-25 teams between both genders remained in the same position from a week ago, including both the No. 1 men and women of Saint Augustine’s. The week seven rankings were announced Tuesday morning by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The three-time defending national champion SAU men won their 19th consecutive CIAA conference title this past weekend to add some breathing room between themselves and No. 2 Grand Valley State. Behind sprinter Burkheart Ellis, Jr., the Falcons improved nearly 47 points to 229.44, while GVSU had a strong weekend in its own right with a 31-point gain to 195.31.

No. 3 Texas A&M-Kingsville (144.09) held steady from last time, while the last two indoor national champions – reigning winner Tiffin (128.29) and 2015 champ Adams State (127.63) – swapped spots at No. 4 and No. 5.

The Saint Augustine’s women still hold a comfortable lead over No. 2 Johnson C. Smith, but the Golden Bulls are chipping away. The Falcons checked in at 172.12 points, while the JCSU women added 15 points to come in at 135.54. That was just enough to step past No. 3 Grand Valley State (133.54).

No. 4 Pittsburg State (127.58) remained stationary but moved closer to the top three, while Hillsdale – national runners-up both in cross country and indoors – jumped up nine spots to No. 5.

Reigning women’s national champion Central Missouri dropped one spot to No. 7, displaced by a two-spot rise from No. 6 Texas A&M-Kingsville.

National champions in 2014, the Lincoln (Mo.) women were the biggest mover among top-25 teams this week. The Blue Tigers jumped up 17 spots to No. 12.

Their male teammates improved the most of any top-25 men’s team this week, up 15 positions to No. 22.

The National Team Computer Rankings are complied by a mathematical formula based on national descending order lists. The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points.

A full description of the rankings can be found here.



2016 Week #7 — April 26

next ranking: May 3
RankInstitutionPointsConferenceHead Coach (Yr)Last Week
1Saint Augustine’s229.44CIAAGeorge Williams (40th)1
2Grand Valley State195.31GLIACJerry Baltes (17th)2
3Texas A&M-Kingsville144.09Lone StarRyan Dall (8th)3
4Tiffin128.29GLIACJeremy Croy (16th)5
5Adams State127.63RMACRock Light (3rd)4
6Chico State112.93CCAAOliver Hanf (4th)7
7Shippensburg103.15PSACDave Osanitsch (11th)12
8Missouri Southern99.40MIAABryan Schiding (3rd)6
9Colorado Mines88.36RMACMatt Sparks (3rd)11
10Central Missouri87.74MIAAKirk Pedersen (20th)/Kip Janvrin (18th)9
11Ashland85.73GLIACJud Logan (13th)8
12Azusa Pacific74.77PacWestKevin Reid (21st)14
13Pittsburg State74.21MIAARuss Jewett (28th)17
14Alaska Anchorage74.02GNACMichael Friess (26th)15
15Angelo State72.39Lone StarJames Reid (17th)16
16Academy of Art71.76PacWestKevin LaSure (1st)10
17Minnesota State69.71NSICJim Dilling (3rd)13
18Johnson C. Smith66.67CIAALennox Graham (9th)25
19Cal State Stanislaus61.47CCAADiljeet Taylor (4th)24
20Texas A&M-Commerce60.99Lone StarRoss Smithey (1st)18
21Findlay54.51GLIACMarc Arce (28th)20
22Lincoln (Mo.)53.77MIAAVictor Thomas (15th)37
23UC San Diego49.99CCAATony Salerno (17th)19
24Cal State LA49.01CCAATina Fernandes (3rd)22
25Southern Indiana48.56GLVCMike Hillyard (18th)23
dropped out: No. 21 Western Washington
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

2016 Week #7 — April 26

next ranking: May 3
RankInstitutionPointsConferenceHead Coach (Yr)Last Week
1Saint Augustine’s229.44CIAAGeorge Williams (40th)1
2Grand Valley State195.31GLIACJerry Baltes (17th)2
3Texas A&M-Kingsville144.09Lone StarRyan Dall (8th)3
4Tiffin128.29GLIACJeremy Croy (16th)5
5Adams State127.63RMACRock Light (3rd)4
6Chico State112.93CCAAOliver Hanf (4th)7
7Shippensburg103.15PSACDave Osanitsch (11th)12
8Missouri Southern99.40MIAABryan Schiding (3rd)6
9Colorado Mines88.36RMACMatt Sparks (3rd)11
10Central Missouri87.74MIAAKirk Pedersen (20th)/Kip Janvrin (18th)9
11Ashland85.73GLIACJud Logan (13th)8
12Azusa Pacific74.77PacWestKevin Reid (21st)14
13Pittsburg State74.21MIAARuss Jewett (28th)17
14Alaska Anchorage74.02GNACMichael Friess (26th)15
15Angelo State72.39Lone StarJames Reid (17th)16
16Academy of Art71.76PacWestKevin LaSure (1st)10
17Minnesota State69.71NSICJim Dilling (3rd)13
18Johnson C. Smith66.67CIAALennox Graham (9th)25
19Cal State Stanislaus61.47CCAADiljeet Taylor (4th)24
20Texas A&M-Commerce60.99Lone StarRoss Smithey (1st)18
21Findlay54.51GLIACMarc Arce (28th)20
22Lincoln (Mo.)53.77MIAAVictor Thomas (15th)37
23UC San Diego49.99CCAATony Salerno (17th)19
24Cal State LA49.01CCAATina Fernandes (3rd)22
25Southern Indiana48.56GLVCMike Hillyard (18th)23
dropped out: No. 21 Western Washington
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
RankConferencePointsTop 25 Teams
2Lone Star399.423

Men’s Regional Index Leaders
RegionInstitutionPointsLast Week
CentralMissouri Southern373.911
EastAmerican International531.102
MidwestGrand Valley State597.191
South CentralTexas A&M-Kingsville397.951
SoutheastMount Olive483.531
WestChico State431.351
View All Regional Rankings



2016 Week #7 — April 26

next ranking: May 3
RankInstitutionPointsConferenceHead Coach (Yr)Last Week
1Saint Augustine’s172.12CIAAGeorge Williams (40th)1
2Johnson C. Smith135.54CIAALennox Graham (9th)3
3Grand Valley State133.54GLIACJerry Baltes (17th)2
4Pittsburg State127.58MIAARuss Jewett (30th)4
5Hillsdale112.03GLIACAndrew Towne (5th)14
6Texas A&M-Kingsville103.39Lone StarRyan Dall (8th)8
7Central Missouri99.45MIAAKirk Pedersen (20th)/Kip Janvrin (18th)6
8West Texas A&M95.84Lone StarDarren Flowers (7th)5
9Alaska Anchorage94.54GNACMichael Friess (26th)10
10Findlay93.43GLIACMarc Arce (28th)9
11Lewis84.97GLVCDana Schwarting (11th)7
12Lincoln (Mo.)84.66MIAAVictor Thomas (15th)29
13Shorter84.47Peach BeltScott Byrd (9th)12
14Chico State81.78CCAARobert Nooney (3rd)11
15Angelo State71.80Lone StarJames Reid (17th)16
16Adams State70.17RMACRock Light (3rd)13
17Missouri Southern67.87MIAAPatty Vavra (22nd)21
18Chadron State66.73RMACBrad Gamble (2nd)27
19Claflin64.04SIACLincoln London (3rd)15
20Western Washington58.15GNACPee Wee Halsell (29th)18
21Cal State Stanislaus56.35CCAADiljeet Taylor (4th)22
22Azusa Pacific55.19PacWestPreston Grey (4th)20
23Seattle Pacific54.26GNACKarl Lerum (11th)17
24Minnesota State53.16NSICJen Blue (16th)19
25Humboldt State50.85CCAAScott Pesch (6th)24
dropped out: No. 23 Sioux Falls, No. 25 Ashland
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
RankConferencePointsTop 25 Teams
4Lone Star319.693
10Peach Belt144.401

Women’s Regional Index Leaders
RegionInstitutionPointsLast Week
CentralPittsburg State430.641
MidwestGrand Valley State631.651
South CentralAngelo State441.672
SoutheastQueens (N.C.)612.091
WestChico State376.041
View All Regional Rankings

NCAA Division II Rankings Central

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA
April 26, 2016