Besides baseball, the last of the NCAA championships for the 2013-14 college sports year gets underway on Wednesday in Eugene, Ore., with the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for men and women.
Just like having three teams in the final eight in college baseball, in the College World Series, the Big 12 is very well represented at the national level in both men’s and women’s track and field.
Entering the championship competition beginning Wednesday in Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, five Big 12 men’s teams and five women’s teams are all ranked in the top 25 nationally. The Texas Longhorns are ranked No. 1 in the nation among women’s teams and the Longhorn men rank fifth, according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Lady Longhorns, champions of both the Big 12 indoor and outdoor track and field championships this year, are followed in the women’s rankings by Baylor at No, 12, Kansas 14, Texas Tech 15 and Kansas State in the No. 24 spot.
The Texas men are the highest ranked squad among the Big 12 men’s outdoor teams, even though the Longhorns did not win the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field championship. That honor went to Texas Tech, which is ranked ninth nationally. Oklahoma State, which won the conference indoor championship on the men’s side is at No, 8 in the current national rankings.
Baylor and Kansas State men also are nationally ranked, coming in at No. 15 and 18, respectively.
A total of 116 track and field athletes from the Big 12 will compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which begin on Wednesday and run through Saturday.
The Texas women are hopeful of winning their fifth NCAA track and field championship after coming in second in the indoor championships in March. The Lady Longhorns have won the NCAA outdoor championship four different times (1998, 1999, 2005 and 2006).
The sweep of the conference indoor and outdoor championships this season was the fifth time the Texas women have accomplished that feat. Sixteen Longhorn women have qualified for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championship. That is tied with one other school for the most entries from any one team.
The Longhorns’ men’s squad has 12 individual competitors in the outdoor national championship.
In individual events, the Big 12 has 67 national women’s titles and 51 men’s titles all-time.
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