FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team opens the 2008 indoor track and field season ranked ninth in the nation by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) it was announced on Thursday morning.
Implementing a new ranking system for the 2008 season that rates individual performances rather than taking a poll of random individuals, Arkansas picked up 77.80 points to crack into the top 10 of the first poll.
“Obviously our returnees are held in high regard,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “This is a new ranking system so we’ll see how it plays out, but while we may lose points at the start of the season, I feel that we have some good recruits that do not factor in at all since these were based on last season’s teams and marks. We are looking forward to getting started in January.”
The preseason rankings are based off indoor performances from the 2007 season and should change significantly once teams begin their 2008 campaigns in mid-January. Part of Arkansas’ score factors in a 4×400-meter relay that is replacing half its members to graduation as well as points from other individuals who have exhausted their eligibility. Of the returning athletes, Arkansas was awarded double-digit points for distance runner Christine Kalmer and pole vaulter Stephanie Irwin.
Leading the preseason rankings was LSU followed by defending NCAA indoor champion Arizona State, Tennessee, Michigan and Stanford. Four teams from the Southeastern Conference are ranked among the nation’s top 10 and seven are listed in the top 25. Along with the three previous teams mentioned South Carolina (6th), Florida (13th), Mississippi (17th) and Georgia (23rd) are also on the list.
The Lady Razorbacks begin the 2008 indoor track season at home on Friday, Jan. 11, at the Randal Tyson Track Center. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.com.