FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On Tuesday the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association announced its 2014 NCAA Division I preseason poll and the University of Arkansas men’s cross country team checked in as the No. 13-ranked team in the country.
The Razorbacks were the lone team to represent the Southeastern Conference in the Top 30 poll, as they collected 198 combined points. It was the second time this week that Arkansas has received a high ranking from the USTFCCCA, as they were named as the No. 1 team in the South Central region on Monday afternoon.
Defending NCAA National Champion Colorado was slated as the preseason No. 1, as they collected all 12 first place votes in the poll.
Arkansas, who was picked to win their fifth straight SEC Cross Country title last week, is in its seven season under the direction of head coach Chris Bucknam and will be returning 2013 NCAA All-American Stanley Kenbenei.
Kenbenei was a significant addition to the Arkansas men’s cross country program last year, as the junior college transfer also earned NCAA All-Region and All-SEC first team honors in his first season with the team.
The Nakura, Kenya native won three races last year for the Razorbacks including a first-place finish at the 2013 NCAA South Central Regional, where he posted a 10k time of 29:41.30. Kebenei is the highest-placed conference returner from the 2013 SEC Championships, as he finished second in the 8k race with a time of 23:40.12 to help Arkansas earn a 1-2-3 finish and the programs 21st conference title.
The Razorbacks will open the 2014 season this weekend, as they travel to Tulsa, Okla., for the Hurricane Cross Country Festival on Aug. 30. Start time is set for 8 a.m.
For more information on Arkansas men’s cross country, follow @RazorbackMCC on Twitter.