The NCAA D-1 Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Rating Index (USTFCCCA) releases a weekly ranking every Monday. The Sam Houston State men’s team checked in with the No. 30 spot at the start of last week, a four-spot jump from where they were during the previous week’s rankings. The spot is also the highest they have been ranked all season.
Clayton Fritsch was the biggest contributor to last week’s score. The Bearkats had a total of 70.39 points per USTFCCCA website, and Fritsch contributed 21.63 points for his record-setting performance during the Beach Invitational in Long Beach, CA on April 19.
The sophomore from Sealy, Texas continued a remarkable outdoor campaign by not only setting a new personal record but also yet another school record and was honored by being named the Southland Conference field athlete of the week last week.
Fritsch posted a mark of 5.57m (18’ 3.25”) in the pole vault and placed third behind two reigning NCAA champions. The mark has him in the No. 6 spot in the country and first overall in the conference with the Southland Outdoor Championships coming up next for him and the team.
His jump also supplanted a record set by Randy Flach during the 2005 outdoor season of 18’ 0.5”. Fritsch wasn’t the only one crashing through records as a female field counterpart also rewrote the books.
Senior Lauryn Caldwell competed in the hammer throw and discus throw during the Michael Johnson Invitational. She set a personal record in both events, and a school record in the discus throw. Her mark of 172’ 3” surpassed the previous school record of 165’ 3” set by Tasha Crosse in 2017.
The Bearkats will look to repeat as conference champions as they prepare for the Southland Outdoor Championships. The men compiled a total of 130 points while the women collected 167 points. The competition will start on Friday May 3 in Natchitoches, LA, and will run through the weekend.