Arkansas Recruiting Class Ranked Second in the
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas track and field program’s 2000 recruiting class is ranked second in the nation by Track and Field News as released on Tuesday.
Oregon’s 2000 class grabbed first-place acknowledgements with Stanford, UCLA and Princeton all ranked behind the Razorbacks in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Teams receiving honorable mention nods included Clemson, Nebraska, TCU, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.
“This is very exciting for us,” UA head coach John McDonnell. “We have not been ranked that high in a few years and we are excited about these guys being here. We can not wait until we get to see these guys in action.”
Spotlighting the recruiting class include prep All-Americans pole vaulter P.J. Brown, triple jumper Maurice Robinson and hurdler Michel Thomas. Brown, from Poplar Bluff, Mo., was the 2000 Missouri State Champion and set a new state record by jumping 16-9. Robinson, from Mobile, Ala., claimed 14 state titles while attending Mattie T. Blount High School and claimed three Junior Olympic gold medals during the summer. Thomas began his first season as a Hog with a bang competing at the International Amateur Athletic Federation World Junior Track and Field Championships in Santiago, Chile, in October.
Adding international flair to the Razorback middle distance lineup are Canada’s Westley Aiken and Britian’s Chris Mulvaney. The Hogs will look to knock seconds off Aiken’s prep-time 3:50.22 in the 1,500 meters. Mulvaney has already made an impact at the University of Arkansas by competing with the Razorback cross country squad in several meets including the 2000 SEC Championships where he helped the Hogs to their 27th consecutive-conference title and was an alternate on the 2000 NCAA National Championship team.
In addition to the newcomers, the Razorbacks also received high marks for transfers Frans Schimper and Greg Yeldell. After three years at LSU, Schimper transferred wanting to have the opportunity to win a national championship and has already done so as a member of the 2000 National Championship cross country squad and will also look to shave seconds off his 1,500 meter time (3:45.39). Yeldell, a transfer from Indiana, will add more depth to the jump squad after finishing fourth last year at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a leap of 53-11.25 and jumped a career-high 55-2 when he claimed the 2000 Big-10 Outdoor Conference Champion.
Most of the Razorbacks’ will make their 2001 debut at the SEC Quad Meet at Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. on Jan. 20.
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