FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s track and field is ranked No. 3 in the nation to begin the 2012 season. The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) released its preseason poll Tuesday afternoon.
The Razorbacks, one of two Southeastern Conference teams ranked inside the top three, have a computer point total of 124.93 to earn its third-place spot in the national rankings. Defending national champion Oregon (200.25) begins the year in the No. 1 position, while LSU (143.63) are the second-ranked team in the USTFCCCA preseason release.
Arkansas and LSU are joined by No. 14 Georgia as the three teams from the SEC in the top 25. With its three teams all ranked inside the top 15, the SEC owns the top spot in the Conference Index with 446.14 collective points. The top-five conference rankings include the SEC, Pac-12 (four teams), Big 12 (five), ACC (two teams) and Big Ten (three).
With an impressive outing last season, Arkansas welcomes back 12 returning All-Americans from the 2011 team that posted a pair of top-15 national finishes including a fourth-place performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The team’s returning All-American seniors are Tara Diebold, Kristen Gillespie, Brittany Hyter, Whitney Jones, Samantha Learch, Jillian Rosen and Tina Sutej.
The next round of USTFCCCA computer rankings will be released Jan. 24. The 2012 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships will be contested March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho and hosted by Boise State University.
The Razorbacks return to action Jan. 13-14 for the Kentucky Invitational. Competition begins Friday and runs through Saturday at the Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
USTFCCCA Preseason Top 101. Oregon2. LSU3. ARKANSAS4. Texas5. Clemson6. UCF7. BYU8. Texas Tech9. Florida State10. Arizona
Download: USTFCCCA Rankings, preseason_01.10.pdf