FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time in three years the Arkansas track and field program earned a spot in the Track & Field News Top Five Recruiting Class list, when the monthly publication ranked the Razorback freshmen as No. 1 in the nation.
Georgia Tech was placed at No. 2 and Southeastern Conference foe LSU was at No. 3. Kansas State picked up the No. 4 spot and California-Berkley rounded out the rankings at No. 5. Honorable Mention was given to Florida State, Texas A&M, Arizona State, UCLA and Texas.
The December issue of Track & Field News touted Arkansas’ loaded class that features four high school All-Americans and is being headlined by J-Mee Samuels who ended 2005 ranked No. 1 in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native broke the 19-year old national high school record in the 100 with a clocking of 10.08. His top time in the 200 was a 20.32 that stands at No. 5 on the all-time list.
Samules will receive help from Jeremy Dodson. A native of Denver, Colo., Dodson was second on the nation’s 200-meter list with a time of 20.41 and was named to USA Today’s All-USA Team. He also ran a 10.41 in the 100-meter dash.
Nkosinza Balumbu is the top-rated triple jumper with a mark of 51-5.75. The Union City, Calif., native turned in jumps of over 50 feet in seven meets and knows how to win. He came away with victories at the Nike Indoor Nationals, the Simplot Games, the Arcadia and Golden West Invitationals and the United States Junior Olympics.
Chris Barnicle is at the No. 2 spot in the two-mile with a clocking of 8:52.19, while turning in first-place finishes at Arcadia and the Massachusetts state championships. Kenny Cormier, a native of Douglas, Ariz., ranked fifth in the same event after he concluded 2005 with a time of 9:02.79. His first-place performances came at the Midwest Meet of Champions and the Golden West Invitational.