FAYETTEVILLE (UofA) - The University of Arkansas men's track and field team holds the No. 1 spot in the Jan. 24 release of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) top-25 national poll. This marks the Razorbacks' first time as the top-ranked team since Feb. 11, 2009.
"This is exciting news for our team and I'm excited for our guys because of they've put in a lot of work to be in this position," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "To be ranked No. 1 in the country speaks to the focus and dedication from the entire team and staff. I couldn't be more proud of the way our guys have responded early on this season."
Arkansas leads a three-team Southeastern Conference charge at the top of this week's rankings. The Razorbacks have a weekly total of 165.38 points and are slotted ahead of conference foes Florida and LSU, respectively. Arkansas was the second-ranked team in the preseason poll. This week's poll is the first since the start of the 2012 season.
With the top three teams in the country, the SEC maintains its lead over the Big Ten and Big 12 in the Conference Index rankings. The conference is also represented this week by No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 21 Ole Miss and No. 23 Georgia.
Individually, Arkansas has five competitors ranked within the top 10 of their respective event. Freshman Andrew Irwin (5.50m/18-0.5) is the highest ranked Razorback with a No. 2 spot in the pole vault and junior transfer Akheem Gauntlett (21.16) is tied for the fourth-fastest time at 200 meters. At 800 meters, Leoman Momoh (1:49.87) has the No. 5 time in the country while Patrick Rono (1:49.88) is right behind at sixth in the event. Senior Ben Skidmore (47.36) is currently tied for the eighth-fastest time in the 400 meters this season.
In its first meet as the No. 1 team in the country, Arkansas returns to action Jan. 27-28 to host the Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The two-day event is scheduled to feature nine teams ranked in this week's USTFCCCA poll, including four of the top five and six of the top 10.
The next round of computer rankings will be released Jan. 31. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.