NEW ORLEANS -- Arkansas is the preseason favorite to win the national team title at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Team Computer Rankings released on Tuesday.
Based on the top marks from the current outdoor season in combination with the top 2013 outdoor marks by returning student-athletes, the USTFCCCA computers a dogfight for the title.Arkansas (311.88 team rankings points) finds itself atop the men’s rankings for the first time since the beginning of the USTFCCCA rankings in 2008, but only narrowly above defending men’s outdoor co-champions Florida (300.11) and Texas A&M (296.36) at No. 2 and 3, respectively, and recently crowned indoor champion Oregon (294.12) at No. 4.
The Razorbacks have eight competitors ranked in the top five of their events, including second-ranked Patrick Rono (800 meters) and Stanley Kebenei (steeplechase) – not to mention a The Bowerman Watch List member in Jarrion Lawson (long jump).
A wild card for Oregon will be reigning cross country indoor 3000 and 5000 meter national champion Edward Cheserek, who will be competing in his first collegiate outdoor campaign and is not included in the preseason event rankings. Indoor marks from the 2014 season are not considered for the outdoor rankings.
Florida State (208.46) rounded out the men’s top five.