COLLEGE STATION, Texas
- The University of Arkansas men's track and field team was crowned the 2014 Southeastern Conference Champions on Saturday. It marks the third-consecutive indoor title for the men's team, ninth-straight conference title including outdoor and cross country SEC Championships. The men finished with 121 points, well ahead of Florida in second place with 106 points.
“I’m really proud of my coaches and athletes,” said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. “This is the best track meet in the country and to fend off the No. 2 and 3 ranked teams in the country for the win makes it that much sweeter. We dedicated this win to Kevin Lazas & his family. We were thinking about him all weekend and we look forward to having him back with us for the national championships.”
The No. 1 Razorbacks led the field of 12 teams through three days of events, clinching the 2014 title with two events left on Saturday. The men crowned three individual champions in Anthony May (high jump), Raymond Higgs (long jump) and Solomon Haile (5,000-meter) on their way to their third-consecutive indoor title, 32nd indoor conference title in program history.
Haile took home the SEC Indoor 5,000-meter title, running 13:58.64 for the team’s first title in the event since 2010. A top-three finisher since his freshman year, Saturday marked Haile’s first SEC indoor event title in his career with the Razorbacks.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day since my freshman year,” said Haile. “I’ve finished second and third so many times, it’s a great feeling to win my senior year.”
Gabe Gonzalez completed a 1-2 finish for the Razorbacks in the 5,000-meter, with a career-best 13:58.64. He shattered his previous record of 14:03.80 set at the Husky Invitational earlier this season.
In his first-ever SEC Championship final event, Omar McLeod recorded a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.70. The time is a new personal record for the freshman, taking down his previous record of 7.76 set at the Arkansas – Texas Duals. McLeod remains in the No. 3 spot all-time at Arkansas.
After taking the long jump title on Friday, May was runner up in in the triple jump on Saturday. May finished second with a mark of 52-2.5, to wrap up a successful weekend.
The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of Jarrion Lawson, Omar McLeod, Travis Southard and Neil Braddy finished in a season-best 3:04.94 for a fourth-place overall finish.
The Razorbacks will spend the next two weeks gearing up for the NCAA Indoor Championships, chasing their second-straight national title. The 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships will take place in Albuquerque, N.M., hosted by the University of New Mexico.
For more information on Razorback Track and Field, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.
Final Team Standings
1. Arkansas, 121
2. Florida, 106
3. Texas A&M, 83.33
4. Alabama, 76
5. Kentucky, 69.33
6. Georgia, 39
7. Mississippi, 36
8. Auburn, 34.33
9. Tennessee, 34
10. LSU, 26
11. Missouri, 24
12. South Carolina, 14
2. Omar McLeod – 7.70 (PR – prev. 7.76
8. Eric Janise – 46.72
5. Tomas Squella – 1:50.13
5. Cale Wallace – 4:08.34
6. Patrick Rono – 4:08.56
1. Solomon Haile – 13:58.64
2. Gabe Gonzalez – 13:58.64 (PR – prev. 14:03.80)
Distance Medley Relay
8. Wallace, Janise, Pisechko, Rono – 9:51.44
4. Lawson, McLeod, Southard, Braddy – 3:04.94
2. Anthony May – 52-2.5
6. Clive Pullen - 51-0
7. Raymond Higgs - 50-4
2. Andrew Irwin – 18-2
5. Devin Randall – 55-5.5