FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas ranks No. 1 in the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Poll, it was announced on Wednesday.
Ranked ninth in the preseason standings, the Track Hogs jumped eight spots after two stellar weekends of competition at the Arkansas and Razorback Invitationals.
Arkansas, one of six SEC teams ranked in the top 25, returns four All-Americans from the 2007 season in Alain Bailey, Nkosinza Balumbu, J-Mee Samuels and Mychael Stewart. Balumbu is also a three-time SEC Champion.
In the SEC, the Tennessee Volunteers are ranked No. 2, LSU ranks 10th, Florida sits at No. 11, Auburn is 14th and South Carolina ranks 16th.
In 2008, Arkansas has collected 12 NCAA provisional-qualifying marks in nine events. Only two of those marks are improved performances. Helping the Hogs along, Arkansas boasts athletes ranked in the top 10 in seven of the 17 events scored at the NCAA Championships.
Six Razorbacks and the UA distance medley relay hold the top marks in the SEC. Alex McClary in the 800 meters (1:49.28), Daniel LaCava in the mile (4:03.83), Scott MacPherson in the 3,000 meters (8:03.12), Bailey in the long jump (25-7.25), Balumbu in the TJ (52-1), Spencer McCorkel in the pole vault (17-2.75) and the DMR (9:38.37; LaCava, Chris Bilbrew, Al. McClary and Andy McClary) hold top marks in the SEC.
The Razorbacks have taken four of the nine weekly honors that have been given out by the SEC since the season began.
After the Arkansas Invitational, LaCava was named the SEC Runner of the Week after winning the 3,000 meters (8:05.01) and McCorkel was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for finishing second in the pole vault (17-0.75).
McCorkel was again honored as the SEC Freshman of the Week after winning the vault (17-2.75) at the Razorback Invitational. Bailey was named the SEC Field Athlete of the Week for his win in the long jump (25-7.25).
Since the 2008 season began, 15 personal bests have been set by the Razorbacks.
The Hogs will compete in the 4×800-meter relay at Millrose Games, Feb. 1, at Madison Square Garden before returning to the track as a team Feb. 8-9 for the New Balance Collegiate Invite. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Razorback track and field.