Razorback Track Earns No. 1 National Preseason
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas track team started out the 2005 indoor season the best way possible when it gained a No. 1 national preseason ranking in the year’s first Trackwire 25. The Razorbacks tallied a commanding lead with 67 points, while Michigan and Florida are tied in second with 34.
“It’s nice that people think that about us this early in the season,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “We have a young team, but Tyson Gay and Wallace Spearmon Jr., will be good leaders, because they’re our returning national champions. Now we just have to go out and prove our ranking.”
Indiana is fourth with 33 points and Texas is No. 5 with 29. Oregon is close behind in sixth with 28 points, while Tennessee, defending indoor champion LSU, and Wisconsin are all tied in seventh (26). BYU rounded out the top 10 with 23 points.
The Trackwire 25 is a power ranking of NCAA Division I track and field teams. The rankings’ methodology takes into account a variety of statistical predictors and is intended to project the outcome of the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 11-12.
In addition to its team ranking Arkansas had a strong showing in Trackwire’s Dandy Dozen. Ten Razorback athletes and one relay team were ranked among the top 12 collegiate athletes and teams in each NCAA event.
Junior sprinting star Tyson Gay is ranked in two events. He is No. 1 in the 60-meter dash and No. 2 in the 200-meter dash, while teammate Wallace Spearmon Jr., took the top spot in the 200 as the national outdoor champion. Senior Omar Brown can also be found in the 200 at No. 10.
A trio of Hogs made it on the 5,000-meter list as performing well on the trails during the cross country season. Junior Josphat Boit is second, junior Marc Rodrigues is seventh and senior Jason Sandfort is 12th. Boit is also second in the 3,000 meters.
In the mile run junior Said Ahmed is No. 3, while freshman Shawn Forrest in No. 5. Senior James Hatch is the lone Razorback in the 800 meters in 10th place.
Arkansas’ reputation to consistently produce quality distance medley relay teams has the Hogs in second behind defending NCAA champion Michigan.
Senior Jaanus Uudmae is the only UA field athlete listed in the Dandy Dozen. He is sixth in the triple jump.
The Hogs will have the opportunity to prove themselves when they host the Arkansas Invitational on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Finals of running events will begin at 6 p.m.
Complete Trackwire 25 Rankings:
1. Arkansas, 67
2. Florida, 34
4. Indiana, 33
5. Texas, 29
6. Oregon, 28
7. Tennessee, 26
10. BYU, 23
11. Arizona State, 20
12. Stanford, 17
13. Auburn, 16
14. Nebraska, 15
15. Arizona, 14
East Carolina, 14
18. UCLA, 13
20. Texas Tech, 12
22. Mississippi, 11
23. Missouri, 10
Virginia Tech, 10
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