FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team was ranked eighth in the nation in the preseason cross country poll released by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Tuesday morning.
The Lady Razorbacks return a young squad to the course in 2006 that will be dominated by sophomores and freshmen who look to improve upon Arkansas’ 19th-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships last November.
“Wow, the people conducting the rankings certainly have a lot of faith in our talent,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We are going to be a young team, but I think that those voting have great respect for the history of the program and also saw what we did last season with a freshman-senior lineup.”
The eighth-place ranking by the Lady Razorbacks is their highest in the preseason since 2000 when they came into the year at number seven. Arkansas was tabbed number nine in 2002 and in the teens other years.
The Lady Razorbacks are also ranked first in the NCAA’s South Central Region ahead of the likes of Baylor, Rice, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas. Last season, Arkansas spent most of the year ranked number one or two in the South Central Region, then went on to win its 14th South Central Regional title and earn a spot at the NCAA Championships.
Arkansas’ most recent rankings go hand-in-hand with the Southeastern Conference Coaches Poll released two weeks ago that pegged the Lady Razorbacks to win the conference title. Three-time defending champion Tennessee was picked second in those rankings and is 14th in the national poll.
The Lady Razorbacks continue their season on Saturday morning when they compete at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. For more information about Lady Razorback cross country or about Arkansas women’s athletics, visit LADYBACKS.COM.
The 2006 National Cross Country PollPreseason • Sept. 12, 2006
|12.||North Carolina State||236|
|25.||William & Mary||92|