The Simpson men’s track and field team held steady at No. 5 in the Central Region, according to the latest National Team Computer Rankings released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
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The Storm made the move from sixth to fifth last week and held their ground for the week four rankings. The most notable move came in the national rankings, however, where Simpson catapulted from 91st overall to 34th in just one week.
Simpson currently boasts five events ranked in the top 30 in Division III and two in the top 10:
• 4th — Emmitt Wheatley, 200 meters (22.02)
• 9th — Dylan Kalinay, 60 hurdles (8.20)
• 17th — Emmitt Wheatley, 60 meters (6.94)
• 25th — Isaac Frazier, heptathlon (4418)
• 27th — Chase Wetterling / Kirk Wicks / Travis Tupper / Jordan Coughenour, 4×400 relay (3:24.20)
Wheatley leads the Iowa Conference in the 60 and the 200 and Kalinay leads in the 60 hurdles. One team not in the top 30 in the nation — the 4×200 relay team of Wetterling, Wicks, Tate Tufte and Keagan Zwiefel — also leads the conference.
Points in the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings are based on the NCAA Division III Descending Order Lists. The higher an athlete is ranked on the list, the more points he or she provides his or her team. From there, a team’s points are totaled and more points mean a better billing in the top-25.
USTFCCCA CENTRAL REGION RANKINGS
1. St. Thomas, 362.37
2. Wartburg, 245.95
3. Dubuque, 242.42
4. Nebraska Wesleyan, 234.23
5. Simpson, 183.44
6. St. Olaf, 182.49
7. Central, 179.61
8. Bethel, 126.53
9. Coe, 122.73
10. Concordia Moorhead, 105.38
For the second week in a row, Simpson sprinter Emmitt Wheatley is the Iowa Conference Track Performer of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday.
A sophomore from Adair, Iowa, Wheatley won the award for the period ending Sunday, Feb. 12 after being named Athlete of the Meet at Grinnell’s Darren Young Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 11. Wheatley won the 60 and 200 meters, posting the No. 17 time in the nation in the 60 and the No. 4 time in the 200.
Wheatley broke the tape in 6.94 seconds in the 60, a personal best and the No. 2 time in school history. He crossed the finish line in the 200 in 22.02 seconds, breaking his own school record in the process.
Wheatley’s effort in the 60 is the fastest by a Storm runner in 22 years. He also helped the 4×400 relay team to a third-place effort.
The conference leader in the 60 and the 200 brings home his third IIAC weekly honor. Storm runners have now won four of six IIAC Track Performer of the Week honors in 2016-17. Junior hurdler Dylan Kalinay has the other two.
Simpson travels to Pella, Iowa to face Central in a dual meet Friday, Feb. 17.