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Arkansas Maintains No. 1 Ranking for Fourth-St

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Maintains No. 1 Ranking for Fourth-St


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In Tuesday’s Trackwire Top 25 Arkansas maintained its No. 1 ranking for the fourth-consecutive week, but saw its previous large 18-point lead shrink to seven points with 57. The Southeastern Conference still has four of the top five teams in the nation. LSU is within striking distance in second place with 50 points and Florida is close in third place with 48 points. Auburn remained in fourth (36).
The Hogs will carry their top billing when they travel to Oxford, Miss., this weekend for the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The league meet will certainly serve as a precursor to the NCAA Championships as UA will look to defend and claim its 11th outdoor conference crown.
The Razorbacks have made a steady climb up the rankings over the past six weeks. In the first Top 25 list released on April 6, UA debuted in third place with 44 points, while Florida was first (55) and LSU was second (50). After a solid showing at the John McDonnell Invitational on April 10, the Hogs were bumped up one spot to second with 44 points and LSU earned the top spot (51), pushing the Gators down to third (43). A strong team performance at the Mt. SAC Relays propelled UA to first with 54 points in the April 20 rankings and the Hogs have enjoyed the view from the top ever since.
The Trackwire 25 is a power ranking of NCAA Division I track and field teams. The rankings’ methodology takes into account a variety of statistical predictors and is intended to project the outcome of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Austin, Texas on June 9-12.
Arkansas’ top team ranking is made possible by its many talented athletes, many of whom were also named to this week’s Trackwire Dandy Dozen, a listing of the top 12 collegiate athletes in each NCAA event.
Arkansas was well represented with 12 Razorbacks ranked in ten events. Senior and six-time national champion Alistair Cragg has impressively been holding down the top spots in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs all season. Cragg is the defending NCAA 5K champion and earned runner-up honors against teammate Daniel Lincoln in a memorable 10K last year. He also lays claim to a world-leading time in the 5K this season. Five-time All-American junior Jason Sandfort is also found in the 10,000 meters at seventh.
Freshman All-American Wallace Spearmon. Jr., is the other Razorback that can be found at first place in his respective event. Spearmon was bumped up to No. 1 in the 200-meter dash for the first time on April 27 and sophomore Omar Brown joins him in seventh. Junior Tyson Gay, a two-time All-American, was dropped from the 200 list, but can still be found at seventh in the 100-meter dash.
Two All-American Razorback runners remained listed in the 1,500-meter run, including senior Chris Mulvaney in second place and junior Said Ahmed with a No. 8 ranking. Junior James Hatch has stayed steady at eighth in the 800 meters.
Senior Michael Thomas is the lone Hog at 12th in the 110-meter hurdles.
UA also has a presence in the field events with senior Jeremy Scott in the pole vault and sophomore Eric Brown in the javelin. Scott is a new transfer and boasts a career-best height of 18-8.25. His past performances at Allegheny College put him at third. Brown has consistently thrown far this season and has stayed in fourth place. Junior Jaanus Uudmae is ninth after debuting with a solid triple jump performance (51-8.25) at the Penn Relays.

Complete Rankings:
1. Arkansas
57

2. LSU
50
3. Florida
48
4. Auburn
36
5. Ohio State
35
6. Nebraska
30
Baylor
30
8. Arizona State
28
9. TCU
27
10. SMU
26
11. Stanford
25
12. USC
24
13. Texas
21
14. UCLA
19
Wisconsin
19
16. Georgia
18
17. Minnesota
16
Arizona
16
Middle Tennessee
16
20. Oregon
13
Texas Tech
13
22. Indiana
12
23. California
11
Rice
11
Tennessee
11
Texas A&M
11




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