FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 15 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team closed out competition at the 117th Penn Relays in Philadelphia Saturday with a runner-up performance in the 4xMile Championships of America. The Razorbacks ran in four relays during the day and finished their weekend’s five-relay slate with two second-place finishes; Arkansas was also second in the distance-medley relay Friday. The 4×400-meter relay also broke into the program’s top-10 performance list.
In the team’s first of four relay finals of the day, Arkansas finished second in the 4xMile relay behind the efforts of Eric Fernandez (4:09.0), Tom Cattin-Masson (4:07.5), Dorian Ulrey (3:58.3) and Duncan Phillips (4:05.6) who combined for a time of 16:20.42. During his third leg, Ulrey moved his team from fourth to first, and ran the event’s fastest individual split of the day.
In the final event of the weekend, the Razorbacks ran to a sixth-place finish in the 4×400-meter relay. The team of Travis Southard (47.9), Marek Niit (46.7), Chris Bilbrew (46.69) and Neil Braddy (45.95) posted a season-best time of 3:06.29, the No. 9 performance in school history and the fastest by a Razorback mile relay since the 2000 season. The team qualified for the final with a 3:08.83 in Friday’s prelims.
Arkansas finished fourth in the 4×800-meter relay in a time of 7:18.08. The relay foursome was made up of Ulrey, Bilbrew, Leomon Momoh and Phillips.
The Razorbacks returned to the track for a fifth-place finish in the 4×200-meter relay. The quartet of Braddy, Ben Skidmore, LaShawn Butler and Caleb Cross passed the baton around the track twice in 1:23.17. In Friday’s preliminary heats, Arkansas qualified fifth overall for the final.
Tarik Batchelor made his 2011 outdoor debut in the triple jump. The Razorback junior finished fifth in the championship section of the event with a day’s best jump of 50-10. The mark came on the first jump of his field series. In Arkansas’ other field result Saturday, Brede Ellingsen finished sixth in the championship section of the high jump with a clearance of 7-1, a season-best effort. He also cleared that height at last season’s Penn Relays.
The Razorbacks return home for their final preparation before the start of the championship season. The Arkansas Twilight meet will be held May 6 at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville. Field events are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (CT) with action on the track slated for a 6 p.m. start. For updated home meet information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.