Men and Women's Track and Field Teams in Top 20 of Outdoor Preseason Polls
March 27, 2008
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off one of the most successful indoor seasons in team history, both the men and women’s track and field teams at the University of Kansas open the 2008 outdoor season in the top-20 of the national rankings released by the USTFCCCA on Wednesday. The women will begin the season as the nation’s 15th-ranked team while the men stand at 18th in the country. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Kansas is one of 10 programs in the nation to have both of their men’s and women’s teams in the top-20 of the rankings.
The men’s team returns three All-Americans from 2007 in seniors Egor Agafonov (weight throw), Julius Jiles (110-meter hurdles) and Barrett Saunders (long jump). The Jayhawks also have all three of their outdoor conference champions from a year ago in Agafonov, Saunders and sophomore Jordan Scott (pole vault).
Kansas’ women will look to duplicate their record-setting indoor season where they placed third at the Big 12 Conference Championships and 10th at the NCAA Championships – the highest finishes in team history at either event.
Seniors Ashley Brown (110-meter hurdles), Crystal Manning (triple jump) and Kate Sultanova (pole vault) will return after All-America seasons in 2007. The women have never had more returning All-Americans. Brown and Manning also won conference titles in their events last season as did junior Zlata Tarasova in the hammer throw.
Eight teams in the men’s top-25 are from the Big 12, leading all conferences, while the women’s rankings contain five teams. LSU will begin the season as the highest-ranked women’s team, while defending champion, FloridaState, is the preseason number one on the men’s side.
The 2008 USTFCCCA Division I rankings are released on Wednesdays during the outdoor season. The rankings are compiled by Tom Lewis, assistant sports information director at Missouri.
For more information about the rankings, please visit www.ustfccca.org.
Kansas opens its outdoor schedule this weekend, March 28-29, at the Missouri Relays in Columbia, Mo.