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Patrick Rono moved into seventh place on Arkansas' all-time 800m list with Friday's time of 1:46.49.
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No. 4 Razorbacks push NCAA total to 13

05/25/2013
Athletic Communications
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AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 4 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team pushed its number of NCAA qualifiers into double digits with seven additions Friday at the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas. In addition to what it already had, Arkansas picked up four national qualifiers at 800 meters, and one each in the 400 meters, 400-meter hurdles and 3,000-meter steeplechase. Day two of the competition was delayed by a rain delay that lasted more than six hours.

In the men’s first race of the day, Akheem Gauntlett secured his spot into the national championships with a third-place finish in his heat. The Razorback senior posted a time of 46.45 to qualify as the eighth overall performer in Friday’s quarterfinal round. Gauntlett finished in seventh place at last year’s NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Teammate Anton Kokorin ran a personal best of 46.73 but missed advancing by just two places.

Arkansas racked up four NCAA Championships qualifiers at 800 meters with Leoman Momoh and Patrick Rono running to automatic top-three places in their respective heats, while Anthony Liegho and Tomas Squella each posted at-large times fast enough to advance to Eugene. Momoh continued his strong postseason run with a time of 1:48.03 to win the first of three heats and was the second overall qualifier. Running in the fastest heat of the day, Rono had a runner-up finish with a personal-best time of 1:46.49, good for the seventh-fastest time in school history.

Lieghio and Squella each finished in fourth place in their respective heats with personal-best times that stood as the fastest of the bubble group. Lieghio was the 10th overall qualifier with his time of 1:48.74 while Squella was just one spot behind with his time of 1:49.49.

Caleb Cross qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter hurdles for the second time in his career. The Newport, Ark., native grabbed an automatic spot to the final site with a third-place finish in his heat while posted a personal-best time of 50.14. Cross, the two-time SEC champion in the event, moved into second place on the program’s all-time performers list with Friday’s performance.

The Razorbacks capped their night with a final qualifying performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase from Stanley Kebenei. The Arkansas newcomer secured his spot in Eugene with a first-place finish in heat two of the event. He knocked more than four seconds off his personal best, crossing the finish line in 8:36.08. The time moves Kebenei into seventh-place on Arkansas’ career list for the event.

Saturday’s schedule will feature competition in the 5,000 meters, 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays, pole vault, triple jump and javelin. Tarik Batchelor and Anthony May II are already qualified for the national meet in the long jump and high jump, respectively, and will be part of the triple jump field. After national qualifiers are decided, the collegiate season will come to a conclusion June 5-8 with the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Meet coverage will include live video via CBSSports.com, live results and an interactive blog beginning with running events each day. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.

NCAA Championships Qualifiers
Tarik Batchelor – Long Jump
Caleb Cross – 400m Hurdles
Solomon Haile – 10,000 Meters
Raymond Higgs – Long Jump
Akheem Gauntlett – 400 Meters
Dwayne Golbek – High Jump
Stanley Kebenei – 3,000m Steeplechase
Jarrion Lawson – Long Jump
Anthony Lieghio – 800 Meters
Anthony May II – High Jump
Leoman Momoh – 800 Meters
Patrick Rono – 800 Meters
Tomas Squella – 800 Meters

Friday Results
400 Meters (quarterfinal)
8. Akheem Gauntlett – 46.45Q
14. Anton Kokorin – 46.73

800 Meters (quarterfinal)
2. Leoman Momoh – 1:48.03Q
4. Patrick Rono – 1:46.49Q (PR – prev: 1:48.85)
10. Anthony Lieghio – 1:48.74Q (PR – prev: 1:49.25)
11. Tomas Squella – 1:49.49Q (PR – prev: 1:49.62)
18. Ryan Thomas – 1:50.73

400m Hurdles (quarterfinal)
7. Caleb Cross – 50.14Q (PR – prev: 50.30)

3,000m Steeplechase (quarterfinal)
2. Stanley Kebenei – 8:36.08Q (PR – prev: 8:40.23)
41. David Flynn – 9:15.49

Q – qualified for the NCAA Championships; PR – personal best

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