NEW ORLEANS – The Arkansas men’s track and field team heads into the 2017 outdoor season ranked No. 3 in the USTFCCCA preseason poll, announced Monday afternoon. Arkansas returns 12 national qualifiers from 2016, including three-time first team All-American Kenzo Cotton.
The national team rankings are compiled by mathematical formula based on national descending order lists. The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. Preseason rankings will include marks from 2016, and the National Team Computer Rankings will continue to do so through the third regular season edition.
Arkansas is the second-highest ranked Southeastern Conference program joined in the top five by No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 5 LSU.
Outdoor National Qualifiers from 2016 (Returners)
• Kenzo Cotton – 100, 200 and 400 relay
• Brad Culp – Decathlon
• Larry Donald – 400 hurdles
• Obi Igbokwe – 400, 1,600 relay
• Derek Jacobus – Decathlon
• Eric Janise – 1,600 relay
• Ken LeGassey – high jump
• Kemar Mowatt – 400 relay
• Clive Pullen – triple jump
• Jamarco Stephen – 1,600 relay
• Andreas Trajkovski – long jump
• Josh Washington – 400 relay
With a base group of 12 solid national qualifiers returning from last year, Arkansas is primed to make another strong run at the NCAA outdoor national title this season. In addition to their returners, the Razorbacks have added a few more studs into the mix with the potential to provide major postseason contributions, including Kevin Harris (sprints), Gabe Moore (decathlon) and Travonn White (jumps).
Arkansas will also have two top distance runners, Alex George and Cale Wallace, return to the fray. Both are talented enough to join the Razorbacks’ probable NCAA contingent. George will ease back into collegiate competition during the coming weeks for the first time since his All-American run at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana, last fall. The pair will be joined by freshly-minted indoor All-Americans Jack Bruce and Ethan Moehn, with 10K standout Andrew Ronoh rounding out the distance crew.
The resourceful Hogs continue to work toward a balanced attack, equipped with several options in various event groups. Cotton will captain the sprinting core while Pullen will reprise his role as the leader of the jumps squad. Arkansas will also have a formidable combined events presence featuring Brad Culp, Derek Jacobus and newcomer Moore.
Arkansas opens its 2017 outdoor season this weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the Arkansas Spring Invitational on March 24-25 at John McDonnell Field.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.