FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas held steady at No. 2 in one national poll, but dropped one spot to No. 4 in another in the latest national outdoor track and field rankings released this week.
The Hogs are ranked second nationally by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Florida State tops the USTFCCCA poll with Arkansas coming in just behind the Seminoles. LSU, Texas and UTEP are ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The USTFCCCA poll is determined each week by a panel of 38 college coaches representing each region of the country.
While Arkansas maintained its position in the coaches’ poll, the Razorbacks fell one spot to No. 4 in the Trackwire.com listing. The Hogs were tied with UTEP last week, but are rated behind the Miners this week. Florida State is atop the Trackwire poll with a projected 58 points for the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. LSU (52 points) is ranked second with UTEP (46 points) and Arkansas (44 points) fourth. Texas (38 points) rounds out the top five in this week’s poll.
Trackwire bases its poll on individual event rankings for the national meet. The Dandy Dozen includes six Razorback entries. Senior Josphat Boit and junior Peter Kosgei are each ranked in multiple events.
Boit retained his No. 1 spot in the 10,000-meter rankings this week. The Kenyan ran the nation’s fastest 10K time (28:22.09) at the Stanford Invitational last month. Boit was ranked No. 1 in the 5K last week, but dropped to No. 3 this week. The Hogs’ distance star still holds the second-fastest time in the 5,000 meters (13:28.26) from his work at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Kosgei has yet to run this outdoor season, but still is ranked in a pair of events. The junior is ranked No. 3 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and No. 5 in the 10,000 meters. Kosgei has been nursing an ankle injury and is not yet healthy enough to compete.
Senior Eric Brown continues to dominate the national javelin scene. As he has been all season, Brown is ranked No. 1 in the javelin in this week. The two-time Southeastern Conference Field Athlete of the Week has been the top collegiate finisher in all three events he has entered this season. Last weekend, Brown shattered his own school record by seven feet with a throw of 256-3. The mark is the best recorded by a collegian this season.
Freshman Nkosinza Balumbu is garnering national attention in the triple jump. Balumbu has already qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in the triple jump with a leap of 52-2 1/2 at the Mt. SAC Relays. The Razorback rookie is ranked No. 2 in the triple jump this week trailing only Florida’ State’s Rafeeq Curry.
Arkansas will travel to the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend. The Razorbacks have only two weeks before hosting the 2006 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the new John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville on May 11-14, 2006. Tickets are on sale for the inaugural meet in the new facility on www.hogwired.com or by calling 1-800-982-HOGS. Four-day reserved area tickets are available in advance for $25. General admission tickets will be sold at the gates for $10.