Razorbacks Take Over No. 1 in Trackwire Rankin
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After an outstanding team performance over the weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., the Arkansas track and field team moved up in the most recent Trackwire 25 list to garner a No. 1 ranking with 54 points. LSU dropped to second place with 49 points and Florida remained in third (41).
“I think the ranking came from Mt. SAC and the good performances we had there,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “It just shows that everyone still thinks we’re No. 1. The same thing happened during indoors, but we didn’t come out on top. Rankings don’t mean anything unless you go out and prove it. If we stay healthy we’ll be a good team.”
The Razorbacks have made a steady climb up the rankings over the past three weeks. In the first Top 25 list released on April 6, UA debuted in third place with 44 points, while Florida was first (55) and LSU was second (50). After a solid showing at the John McDonnell Invitational on April 10, the Hogs were bumped up one spot to second with 44 points and LSU earned the top spot (51), pushing the Gators down to third (43).
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 Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Austin, Texas on June 8-12.
Arkansas will carry its No. 1 ranking to the 110th Penn Relays this weekend when the Hogs travel to Philadelphia, Pa., on April 22-24. Many of the athletes scheduled to compete on Franklin Field were also named to this week’s Trackwire Dandy Dozen, a listing of the top 12 collegiate athletes in each NCAA event.
Arkansas was well represented with 12 Razorbacks ranked in ten events. Senior and six-time national champion Alistair Cragg is expectedly found ranked No.1 in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs. Cragg is the defending NCAA 5K champion and earned runner-up honors against teammate Daniel Lincoln in a memorable 10K last year. Five-time All-American junior Jason Sandfort is also found in the 10,000 meters at eighth.
Junior Tyson Gay is also ranked in two events. The two-time All-American is fourth in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200. Joining Gay in the 200 meters at the second position is freshman All-American Wallace Spearmon and sophomore Omar Brown just made the cut in 12th. Spearmon made a significant jump up the list when he registered an NCAA-leading time of 20.35 in California and Brown turned in a good time of 20.66.
Two All-American Razorback runners remained listed in the 1,500-meter run, including senior Chris Mulvaney in second place and junior Said Ahmed in ninth. Junior James Hatch made his first appearance in the 800 meters at 11th.
Seniors Maurice Bridges and Michael Thomas are the lone Hogs in their respective events. Bridges is ninth in the 400-meter hurdles and Thomas is eighth in the 110-meter hurdles.
UA also has a presence in the field events with senior Jeremy Scott in the pole vault and sophomore Eric Brown in the javelin. Scott is a new transfer and boasts a career-best height of 18-8.25. His past performances at Allegheny College put him at third. Brown has consistently thrown far this season and was pushed up to fourth place from 11th, while boasting a season-best toss of 235-06.
1. Arkansas 54
2. LSU 49
3. Florida 41
4. Auburn 35
5. Baylor 32
6. Arizona State 29
8. TCU 28
10. UCLA 23
Ohio State 23
12. Indiana 21
13. Minnesota 20
14. Stanford 19
15. Oregon 18
17. Texas 16
19. Georgia 15
20. Texas A&M 14
22. Kansas State 13
Texas Tech 13
24. Rice 12
25. Florida State 11
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