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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Following a runner-up finish at the 2018 NCAA Indoor meet, the Arkansas women's track & field team will open the 2019 indoor campaign as the preseason No. 1 team as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Thursday afternoon.

The Razorbacks claimed the top spot in a preseason poll for the second time in program history following their first appearance on top during last year's outdoor preseason poll. They are followed by familiar foes Florida State, Texas A&M, USC and Oregon rounding out the top-five.

Along with Arkansas and Texas A&M, nine additional Southeastern Conference teams including, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Georgia, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 13 Alabama, No. 14 South Carolina, and No. 17 Tennessee earned a spot in the preseason polls.

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 2018, and the National Team Computer Rankings will continue to do so through the third regular-season edition.

Arkansas will open the year today at home, hosting the Arkansas Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Leading the charge for the Razorbacks this season will be All-American multi-event performer Kelsey Herman, the All-American pole vault trio of Desiree Freier, Tori Hoggard and Lexi Jacobus, and the sprint group of All-American Janeek Brown, Jada Baylark and Kiara Parker.

Men

Set to open its season at home today, the Arkansas men's track & field team will head into its 2019 indoor campaign at No. 8 in the USTFCCCA preseason national rankings.

The 2017-18 John McDonnell Program of the Year runner-up, Arkansas is the fourth-highest ranked SEC program in the nation behind No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Georgia and No. 7 Alabama. The SEC boasts four teams inside the top 10 and six teams inside the top 20 with LSU at No. 17 and Texas A&M at No. 19.

Head coach Chris Bucknam returns several All-Americans from last year's indoor/outdoor championships, including one of the NCAA's best distance athletes in senior Cameron Griffith who was a bronze medalist in the 3,000-meters indoor and eighth in the 1,500-meters during outdoor.

Moving on without 16-time NCAA All-American Kenzo Cotton, who made an appearance at both the indoor and outdoor national meets in every season in which he competed for the Razorbacks, Arkansas will look to a roster riddled with top transfers and experienced contributors.

Sports on 01/11/2019

Print Headline: No. 1, No. 8 Razorbacks host Arkansas Invitational

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