FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On Tuesday the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association announced its 2014 NCAA Division I Week One poll and the Arkansas men’s cross country team remained idle from its preseason ranking as they checked in at No. 13.
Arkansas maintained its No. 13 preseason ranking despite just running once since the poll was released. For the second straight poll the Razorbacks were the lone team to represent the Southeastern Conference in the Top 30 poll, as they collected 194 points.
In their last outing on Aug. 30, Arkansas ran on a four-mile course at the Hurricane Cross Country Festival in Tulsa, Okla. The meet was scored as five separate dual meets, and the Razorbacks went 4-1 that day, defeating Tulsa (17-42), Oklahoma (21-36), Wichita State (19-41), and Louisiana-Monroe (19-43). The lone loss came to No. 4 Oklahoma State, who beat Arkansas 25-30.
Redshirt junior Gabe Gonzalez paced the Razorbacks that day, as he finished second in the race with a time of 20:10. Arkansas had two other runners finish in the top 10, with redshirt freshman Christian Heymsfield placed fifth (20:17) and junior Cale Wallace placing sixth with his 20:18 pace.
The team’s performance in Tulsa was good enough to keep them in the top spot in the South Central Region. On Monday, the USTFCCCA announced its NCAA Division I Regional Rankings, and for the second straight pol, Arkansas was able to keep its preseason No. 1 ranking in the South Central.
Defending NCAA National Champion Colorado also remained on top of the USTFCCCA Top 30 poll, while Northern Arizona (No. 2), Oregon (No. 3), Oklahoma State (No. 4) and Stanford (No. 5) rounded out the top five.
The Razorbacks will be back in action on Saturday, as they travel to the Bronx, N.Y. to compete at the Iona Meet of Championships. It will be a stiff challenge for Arkansas, as host-school Iona checked in at No. 12 in this week’s poll, just one spot ahead of the Razorbacks. Race time is slated for 9:45 a.m.
For more information on Arkansas men’s cross country, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.