Southeastern Conference universities combined to win five national championships during the 2018-19 academic year, and three of those titles were claimed by track and field programs.
The SEC was poised to win two more national championships less than a month ago at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The LSU women were ranked No. 1 in the nation for four consecutive weeks entering the NCAA Championships before all remaining NCAA events for the 2019-20 academic year were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The LSU women had 13 scoring opportunities in the NCAA Championships, which led the nation. Four other SEC teams were ranked in the top-six of the national track and field rating index entering the NCAA Championships: No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Arkansas and No. 6 Kentucky.
The LSU men's squad had eight athletes who qualified for a total of nine events as well as an entry into the 4x400 meter relay. The 10 events the LSU men qualified for were the second most nationally. In addition to the top-ranked Tigers, five other SEC teams were ranked in the top-12 entering the NCAA Championships: Georgia at No. 5, Florida at No. 6, Texas A&M at No. 7, Tennessee at No. 10 and Arkansas at No. 12.
SEC squads are used to competing for track and field national titles. SEC teams won seven NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships in the last decade (2010-19) with Florida winning back-to-back-to-back crowns from 2010-12, Arkansas taking the title in 2013, Texas A&M in 2017 and Florida in 2018 and 2019.
SEC teams have won three of the last five NCAA Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships: Arkansas in 2015 and 2019 and Georgia in 2018. The Conference also had three runner-up finishes in thesame period with the Razorbacks in 2016 and 2018 and Georgia in 2017.
Track and field programs of the SEC have also been the frontrunners in the outdoor season. SEC men's programs have won six outdoor titles since 2012: four by Florida and one each by Georgia and Texas A&M. The Aggies also won three consecutive titles in the years leading up to their transition from the Big 12 Conference.
Women's programs of the SEC have combined to win six NCAA outdoor titles since 2002, and Texas A&M won three crowns from 2009-11 before joining the SEC in 2012. Those six titles have been won by five different schools: Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
The SEC has been equally as dominant when it comes to The Bowerman, which is presented annually by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) to the most outstanding male and female NCAA track & field athletes in the nation. This past December, the SEC became the first conference to sweep The Bowerman on both the men's side and the women's side. LSU's Sha'Carri Richardson was named winner of the women's Bowerman, while Florida's Grant Holloway took home the men's award.
A total of eight SEC student-athletes - five males and three females - have claimed The Bowerman. The eight winners represent six different SEC programs.
The SEC's track and field coaches have also reached unparalleled success. The league's current head track and field coaches have combined to win an remarkable 55 NCAA team titles.
Ranging from the success of indoor and outdoor track and field programs to record breaking accomplishments to the highest award bestowed to collegiate track and field's most outstanding athletes of the year, the SEC has staked its claim as the best track and field conference in the nation.