Hokie men check in at No. 21 in USTFCCCA preseason poll

BLACKSBURG – Following a successful indoor campaign, the Virginia Tech men’s track and field team will start the 2017 outdoor season in the top 25 of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Indoor National Team Computer Rankings released on Monday afternoon.

USTFCCCA Top 25 Rankings

Defending national champion Florida enters as the preseason favorite, securing 282.97 points in the poll, with Oregon (277.54) checking in second. Arkansas (253.11) and Texas A&M (232.69) sit in third and fourth, respectively, followed by LSU in fifth (218.03).

The Hokie men are one of three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams ranked in the top 25. Virginia leads the pack at No. 6 with 183.26 points, while Syracuse checks in at No. 16 with 117.83 points. Virginia Tech, the defending ACC outdoor champions, comes in at No. 21 (92.90).

The 2016 season, led by 16-year coach Dave Cianelli, saw the Hokie men win its second ACC outdoor title since the school joined the ACC for the 2004-05 season and the sixth overall ACC men’s crown in track & field and cross country. The men’s squad also placed eighth at the NCAA Championships, marking the fourth top-10 finish in program history and the first since 2012. Redshirt junior Torben Laidig led the way with a second-place finish in the pole vault event at NCAAs, followed by junior Marek Barta’s third-place finish in the discus event.

Of note, the national team computer rankings are compiled by a mathematical formula based on the NCAA Division I Descending Order Lists. Marks from previous seasons are included until enough data can be drawn from the current season. Current freshmen will not be included in the rankings until they compete in an outdoor meet.

Most recently, the men’s squad was crowned ACC indoor champions and earned a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships – the squad’s highest indoor finish in program history.

The Hokies open their 2017 campaign in four short days, as they travel to Columbia, South Carolina, for the Weems Baskins Invitational on March 24-25.

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