comscore script

Arkansas Takes Over No. 1 Ranking

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Takes Over No. 1 Ranking

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time in five years the Razorback cross country team is ranked No. 1 in the country. The United States Cross Country Coaches Association (USCCCA) released its poll on Tuesday morning and Arkansas received nine first-place votes and 473 points. The Hogs, winners of 11 NCAA Cross Country titles, are now eight points ahead of their nearest competitor and have established themselves as the team to beat at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21, in Terre Haute, Ind.

Former top-ranked and last year’s NCAA runner-up Wisconsin slipped to No. 2 with seven first-place nods and 465 points. Colorado, the defending national champion, stayed at third with 461 points. After not being ranked, Southeastern Conference opponent Florida joined the Razorbacks in the top 30, by jumping into the 13th spot. Arkansas and Texas (No. 9) remained the only two teams from the South Central Region to be nationally ranked.

The 2005 season has seen Arkansas steadily climb the rankings. In the Sept. 13 preseason poll the Hogs debuted at No. 3 and stayed there for an additional week. After a dominating performance against talented northeastern teams at Iona College’s Meet of Champions UA was moved up to No. 2. This past weekend in Stillwater, Okla., Arkansas sent only six competitors to run in the Cowboy Jamboree, but still easily won the team title and showed it deserved to be at the top.

UA’s outstanding team performances are a credit to the program’s impressive depth. This year Arkansas has two returning All-American seniors, Josphat Boit and Marc Rodrigues. Junior Peter Kosgei has yet to make his Razorback debut on the trails, but is considered an important factor after he had phenomenal track seasons. In the October issue of Track & Field News the Kapsabet, Kenya native was predicted to win the individual national title. Boit, who finished third in 2004, was picked to come in fifth place.

In addition to that terrific trio, Arkansas can also count on the skills of sophomore Shawn Forrest, who has been the squad’s top finisher in two meets this fall. Junior Seth Summerside has come on strong as of late, picking up league accolades for his performance at the Missouri Southern Stampede. Adding valuable leadership and experience to the mix is junior Adam Perkins, who has been a part of the scoring five each time he competes.

Three gifted true freshmen, including Chris Barnicle, Kenny Cormier and Scott MacPherson have made an immediate impact during their first month as Hogs. Barnicle and Cormier have taken turns being UA’s third man in the past two meets, while MacPherson posted a quality opening in New York.

The Hogs will take this week off to prepare for the Chile Pepper Invitational on Oct. 15. The 10K race is set to start at 9:30 a.m. at the Razorback Cross Country Course on Agri Park and will feature other nationally ranked teams such as Arizona (No. 6) and UTEP (No. 11).

MONDO Men’s NCAA Cross Country Poll

Ranking

Team (First Place Votes)

Points

1

Arkansas (9)

473

2

Wisconsin (7)

465

3

Colorado

461

4

BYU

420

5

Stanford

415

6

Arizona

412

7

Notre Dame

382

8

Iona College

365

9

Texas

320

10

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

317

11

UTEP

289

12

Georgetown

276

13

Florida

258

14

Iowa

250

15

William & Mary

232

16

Portland

223

17

Florida State

220

18

Ohio State

206

19

Michigan

175

20

Minnesota

150

21

Indiana

143

22

Dartmouth

137

23

North Carolina State

132

24

Washington

116

25

American

105

26

Air Force

99

27

Arizona State

78

28

Kansas

70

29

Virginia

65

30

Colorado State

38

South Central Region Poll

Ranking

Team

1

Arkansas

2

Texas

3

Texas A&M

4

Rice

5

Stephen F. Austin

6

Baylor

7

Sam Houston

8

LSU

9

UT-Pan American

10

TCU

11

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

12

Houston

13

Texas State

14

Lamar

15

UT-San Antonio



Sports Category : Cross Country (M)