Arkansas Opens 2016 at No. 10 in Preseason Poll
NEW ORLEANS – Coming off back-to-back top three finishes at the 2015 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, Arkansas men’s track and field enters the 2016 season ranked No. 10 in the USTFCCCA Preseason Poll. Announced on Wednesday afternoon, Arkansas was one of five SEC programs ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
The national team rankings are compiled by a 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 2015, and the National Team Computer Rankings will continue to do so through the third regular-season edition.
Claiming gold in 2013, silver in 2014 and bronze in 2015, the Razorbacks are perpetual staples at the top of the indoor track and field rankings. Head coach Chris Bucknam has assembled a talented roster of newcomers and veterans who will look to reclaim the NCAA Indoor Championship throne in March.
Known for their success in jumps, the Razorbacks have a number of student-athletes ready to get the program back atop the podium. A gold medalist in 2014 and silver-medalist in 2015, long jumper Jarrion Lawson is primed to have a breakout senior season guided by assistant coach Travis Geopfert. Narrowly missing a second NCAA indoor title by .1m, Lawson returns resolute in his pursuit of success during the final year of his college career.
Making moves in the offseason, Geopfert added another weapon to his jumps arsenal with the addition of Danish jumper Andreas Trajkovski. The 2015 NJCAA indoor and outdoor long jump champion, Trajkovski holds a personal best mark of 7.82m/25-8 in the event.
The jumps crew also returns All-Americans Ken LeGassey (high jump) and Clive Pullen (triple jump).
Outdoor national champions Kenzo Cotton and Marqueze Washington will lead the way for the sprints group specializing in the 200 and 400 meters, respectively. Cotton and Washington are joined by All-American transfer Davon Anderson, whose focus will be in the hurdles.
2014 SEC indoor 5K runner-up Gabe Gonzalez returns back to the track for Arkansas distance following redshirting last season. The Razorbacks distance squad also features sophomores Austen Dalquist and Alex George, who were selected to the 2015 SEC All-Freshman team for their performances in the mile and 3K/5K, respectively.
Arkansas will open its season on Friday, Jan. 15 when it hosts the Arkansas Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center with a primetime start at 4 p.m. Razorback fans can purchase season tickets for $40. Tickets include admission to all seven home meets and an official Pepsi Track Capital of the World T-shirt.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
- Virginia Tech
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- South Carolina
- Kansas State
- Penn State