We’re at the end of the year in the college sports season, which is why there are so many spring sports championships being contested at this time. We’ve been writing about baseball and softball for several weeks now, and national championships are currently under way in both of those major spring sports.
As those of you who are regular or frequent visitors of FanSided and this site, in particular, know, one of the differentiating features of Talking 12 that you will not find on similar sports blog websites is that we don’t confine our coverage and commentary just to the major Big 12 sports. While football, basketball and baseball do get the majority of the attention, we do report on the other sports when they involve a conference championship or achievement at the national level.
One such sport is track and field, a sport in which Big 12 teams and individual student athletes have done extremely well at the national and even the Olympic level for a number of year. As a case in point, nine Big 12 men’s and women’s teams are represented at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships that get under way on Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.
Five men’s teams from the Big 12 and four women’s teams qualified for the national outdoor championships. The Kansas women, ranked No. 1 in the country and the runner-up in the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, head the female contingent from the Big 12. All five of the Big 12 schools participating in the women’s division of the outdoor championships are ranked in the national top 25, acccording to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Besides Kansas, the women’s teams from Texas (ranked 12th), Iowa State (15) and Texas Tech also are competing is this year’s national outdoor championships. On the men’s side, Texas is the highest-ranked team from the Big 12 at No. 8, followed by the team from TCU (12), Kansas (15), Oklahoma State (17) and Kansas State (25).
Kansas is sending 13 women participants, the fourth most of all the teams represented in the Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Jayhawks are seeking a trifecta in track and field championships this season. They won both the Big 12 Indoor and the Outdoor Championships this year for the first time in school history.
Texas qualified 15 individuals for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the most of any school in the men’s division, Texas Tech, which finished fith in the National Indoor Championships, is sending nine male athletes to compete in individual events.
The Texas women are the only Big 12 team to win an NCAA outdoor title, claiming championships iu 2006, 2005, 1999 and 1998.
All told, 115 student athletes are participating in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships from the Big 12.
Since the Big 12 was formed in 1996, the Big 12 has won 62 individual women’s titles and 48 on the men’s side.
Look for the Big 12 to do well in this year’s national outdoor championships. A couple of top five team finishes isn’t at all out of the question.
The NCAA Outdoor Championships run from Thursday through Saturday.