Razorbacks Ranked At Top in Preseason Indoor P
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s track and field team grabbed the top spot in Trackwire’s preseason poll released earlier this week. The Hogs, who won the 2000 NCAA cross country title in November, will seek to defend their indoor title and earn the sixth national triple crown in school history by reclaiming the outdoor title.
Joining the Razorbacks in the top five are TCU, defending NCAA outdoor champion Stanford, Alabama and LSU. The Hogs are seeking their fifth-consecutive indoor national title and 17th in the last 18 years.
To claim yet another title, the Hogs will have to replace Melvin Lister in the long jump and the triple jump, James Karanu in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay, Ryan Stanley in the distance medley relay, Marcus Clavelle in the shot put and Lavar Miller – who still has outdoor eligibility – in the high jump.
Like last year, the Razorbacks will look to a strong core of jumpers to score points for their second national title this year. In the high jump, Kenny Evans will be a dominant force after participating in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and claiming the indoor title as a freshman and then two-second place finishes since. The Hogs will look to Ramon Washington, Maurice Robinson and Eddie Jackson for points in the long jump. In the triple jump, the Razorbacks will look to Indiana transfer Greg Yeldell, Jason Ward, who finished second at NCAA’s last year as a freshman, and Robinson to come up big for UA.
The Hogs will also need their distance runners to contribute points. In the mile, Ryan Travis and Murray Link both return after finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, last year with Link also looking to improve on his third-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the outdoor championships. Adding quality depth will be Sharif Karie in the 3,000 meters and Daniel Lincoln in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Newcomer Chris Mulvaney and LSU transfer Frans Schimper might also be point contributors when the NCAA Championships roll around.
The Razorbacks could get bonus points in the hurdles with strong performances by Eddie Jackson and freshman Michael Thomas and should contend for the distance medley relay title and the 4×400 meter relay title.
The Hogs will start the 2001 indoor season by hosting the Southeastern Conference Quad Meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center on January 19. Teams scheduled to compete are Texas, Florida, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.
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