Gamecock Track & Field Ranked in Outdoor Preseason Top 20
April 1, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina men's and women's track and field programs will enter the 2009 outdoor season with top 20 rankings in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll as the men's team enters in at No. 14 and the women's team comes in ranked No. 17 by the organization.
The preseason rankings were scored using the final descending order list from the 2008 outdoor season, taking into account additions and deletions to each team's roster but not including any marks earned during the now completed indoor season.
The Gamecocks return eight All-Americans from the 2008 outdoor season, four each on the men's and women's squads. On the men's side, 110-meter hurdles national champion Jason Richardson returns along with Johnathan Hancock, Quentin Moore and Antonio Sales. The women's mile relay earned bronze medal honors last year with Brandi Cross, Porche Byrd and Gabrielle Glenn returning. Shayla Mahan also earned a certificate with Cross and Glenn in the 4x100m relay.
Texas A&M is ranked first in the men's preseason poll followed by Arkansas, Oregon, Florida State and LSU. South Carolina is one of seven SEC teams ranked in the men's preseason top-15 as Arkansas (No. 2), LSU (No. 5), Kentucky (No. 6), Florida (No. 8), Tennessee (No. 9) and Georgia (No. 12) are all ranked.
Texas A&M is also the top-ranked women's squad, followed by Virginia Tech, Oregon, Tennessee and Penn State. The Gamecocks are one of six SEC teams ranked in the women's preseason top-25 as Tennessee (No. 4), LSU (No. 6), Florida (No. 11), Auburn (No. 13) and Arkansas (No. 19) all are nationally ranked.
South Carolina returns to action this weekend at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. The team then returns to the Weems Baskin Track for the final home meet of the season when it hosts the State USATF meet Wednesday, April 8.