Championship season begins with No. 3 ranking
Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas women's track and field team dropped one spot but remain in the top five as the No. 3 team in Tuesday's release of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll. The Razorbacks have been positioned inside the top five for the past five weeks. Arkansas hosts the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville this weekend.
The Razorbacks are the second-highest ranked among six SEC teams in Tuesday's rankings release. Five of the top nine teams in the country are from the SEC and all six conference teams are ranked inside the top 15. Along with Arkansas at No. 3, the league is represented in the top 25 by top-ranked LSU, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Georgia, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 14 South Carolina.
"These most recent rankings just show that the SEC continues to be the superpower in indoor track and field," head coach Lance Harter said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. "We've got national scorers across the board but the strength of the conference blocks you out in some of those events. You just can't get away from the SEC."
In the national event rankings, Arkansas has seven top-10 marks on the NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying List. Seniors Regina George and Makeba Alcide have turned in NCAA-leading performances at 400 meters (51.67) and in the pentathlon (4,644 points), respectively. Alcide is also ranked fourth in the high jump, Sandi Morris is fifth in the pole vault and Tamara Myers is eighth in the triple jump.
The Razorbacks are also represented in both relay events. Arkansas' 4x400-meter relay team is ranked third in the NCAA a season-best time of 3:31.78 from the Tyson Invitational. The distance-medley relay also has the No. 3 team in the country at 11:04.93 from the Armory Collegiate Invitational.
The 2013 SEC Indoor Championships begin Friday at 1 p.m. (CT) with the multi-event competitions. Action on Saturday and Sunday starts at 10 a.m. with the weight throw at Walker Pavilion and noon at the Randal Tyson Track Center. For tickets, visit the Razorback Ticket Center on Razorback Road by Baum Stadium, log on to the online ticket office or call 800/982-HOGS (4647).
ESPN3.com will carry the SEC Indoor Championships with coverage set for Saturday and Sunday. Commentary duties will be handled by Dwight Stones (play-by-play), Larry Rawson (color analyst) and Lewis Johnson (sideline reporter). ArkansasRazorbacks.com will stream Friday's events with early Saturday and Sunday coverage. A tape-delay television broadcast of the conference meet will air March 13 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
The official Twitter hash tag of the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships is #SECTF.