STARKVILLE, Miss. – With the return of speedy veterans and fresh help from talented newcomers, Mississippi State track and field claims eight athletes ranked among the Top 20 nationally in their individual events.
The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll released on Tuesday ranks junior Marcus Jackson as the third-best high jumper in the NCAA. Jackson has seen a successful outdoor season, following his personal-best performance of 7-06.00 to finish as the runner-up at NCAA Indoors in March. The Carrollton, Miss. native cleared his best height of the outdoor campaign at the Texas Relays last month, jumping 7-05.25.
While MSU dropped out of this week’s Top 25 team rankings, seven other Bulldogs join Jackson at the top of the leaderboard with outstanding performances. Tavaris Tate, Brandon McBride, Daundre Barnaby and Randy Patterson comprise the Maroon and White’s 4x400-meter relay team, which ranks sixth in the country. The foursome posted their best time of the season at the Texas Relays, clocking a 3:05.35.
Barnaby, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, also ranks No. 20 in the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.32. Nathan Arnett (13.94) and freshman Scottie Hearns (51.27) earned spots in 16th and 17th, respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles.
Rounding out the Top 15 triple jumpers includes junior Jason Harper, who posted his season-best of 51-06.50 at the Texas Relays.
MSU will look for these leaders to make dominant showings as the squad travels to Philadelphia this week for the 119th Penn Relays on April 25-27.