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2014 Men's Track & Field Signing Class

02/10/2014
Athletic Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE - Chris Bucknam, head coach of the No. 1 University of Arkansas men's track and field team, has announced the signing of 13 outstanding prep student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2014-15 season. This marks the seventh Razorback recruiting class for Bucknam and his staff.

The initial wave of future Razorbacks includes Alex Springer (Shawnee, Kan.), Andrew Henn (Paola, Kan.); Kenzo Cotton (La Vista, Neb.), Austen Dalquist (Keller, Texas), Ethan Moehn (Monroe, Wisc.), Gabe Moore (Freeport, Fla.), Rubin Owens (Le Roy, N.Y.), Noah Gilfillan (Corsicana, Texas), Derek Zimmerman (Freeman, Neb.), Juan Green (South Plains), Zachary Riley (Benton, Ark.), Alex George (Great Britain) and Anthony Blakely (Hensley, Ark.).

"We are very pleased with our signing class so far," said Bucknam. "We always strive for a well-rounded program and this recruiting certainly reflects that philosophy. We have some of the very best high school athletes from all over the country joining us along with proven junior college competitors and some international talent as well."

"We want to continually re-load in our recruiting. This is a talented young group that can come in and make an immediate positive impact in our program. Many of these student-athletes are proven winners both on and off the track and they are the caliber of student-athletes that already have high expectations for themselves. Recruiting never stops but we feel very good about the foundation we have with these young men for the class of 2014."

 

Alex Springer || Javelin || Shawnee Mission Northwest HS (Shawnee, Kan.)
Personal Best:
Javelin - 182-10

Notes on Springer: Second Team All-Metro Kansas City 2013; First Team All-Sunflower League; 2013 State Runner-up; 1st place in 2013 Regionals; National Honor Society; Four-year honor roll student; Academic Award Letter recipient; son of Kimberly and Rick Springer.

Why Springer chose Arkansas: "I chose Arkansas because I felt comfortable there academically and athletically. My personality seemed to mesh with the vibe the school was giving off."

What Bucknam says about Springer: "Alex is a big kid with a live arm. He is still very new to the javelin and has tremendous upside. We are excited about his potential to help us keep our strong javelin tradition here at Arkansas."


Austen Dalquist || Distance || Keller HS (Keller, Texas)
Personal Bests:
800 meters - 1:55.56
1,500 meters - 3:57.00
1,600 meters - 4:10.88
Mile - 4:12.46
3,000 meters - 8:40.12
3,200 meters - 9:11.53
5,000 meters (XC) - 15:04.00

Notes on Dalquist: First Place at 2013 Nike South Cross Country Championships; Third place at 2013 Texas State 5A Cross Country Championships with a time of 15:33.00; runner-up at the 2013 Texas Relays in the 3200; is currently ranked No. 1 in Texas in  the mile and 3000-meter; Dalquist has a 2014 national ranking of No. 2 in the mile and No. 8 in the 3000-meter.

Why Dalquist chose Arkansas: "I chose Arkansas for their great reputation and their great promise for the future. I love how much they focus on disance running up there and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that tradition of success. I believe surrounding myself in that spotlight and expectation, something I am not used to, I can excel as an athlete and become the best distance runner I can be. Wooo pig!"

What Bucknam says about Dalquist: "Austen is a fantastic talent that can run anything from 800 meters through a cross country 5k.  He has no fear and is willing to put it all out there.  He wants to train with and be one of the best milers in the country.  He has already proven himself in the high school ranks and with his foot speed he’s a dangerous weapon for us both in cross country and on the track."


Kenzo Cotton || Sprints ||  Papillion La Vista HS (La Vista, Neb.)
Personal Bests:
60 meters - 6.79
100 meters - 10.41
200 meters - 21.26
400 meters - 48.26

Notes on Cotton: 2011 200-meter State Champion; 2012 100-meter and 200-meter State Champion; two-time Nebraska Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year; Holds three state records (100m, 200, 400 relay); Recipient of six All-Class Gold Medals; Undefeated in the 100 and 200 meter in the past two seasons; Member of the Adidas Dream 100 in 2013; Competed at the 2013 Youth World Championships in Ukraine; Son of Curtis and Tricia Cotton.

What Bucknam says about Cotton: "Kenzo is one of the best young sprinters in the US.  He is a multiple state champion and state record holder. The main thing that attracted us to him is that he is a finisher. The guy smells the finish line and knows how to win.  His range from 60-400 meters is almost unmatched.  We are thrilled that he has joined us as a Razorback."


Ethan Moehn || Distance || Monroe HS (Monroe, Wisc.)
Personal Bests:
400 meters - 50.9
800 meters - 1:52.37
1,600 meters - 4:14.10
3,200 meters - 9:41.10

Notes on Moehn: All-State 4x800 Relay Team 2011, 2012 and 2013; 2012 All-State 800 meters; 2013 Second Team All-State in 800 meters; 2013 Wisconsin Cross-Country State Champion; Moehn is a 3.8 student and honor roll member; Son of Daniel and Jenny Moehn.

Why Moehn chose Arkansas: "I chose Arkansas because I have always loved being apart of an excellent team in high school and I wanted to continue that at the next level. I also really meshed well with the team and coaches. It was a no-brainer after being in Fayetteville for my visit!"

What Bucknam says about Moehn: "Ethan is a great talent and state champion from Wisconsin.  He’s going to give us tremendous depth both in cross country and on the track in a variety of areas.  He also has tremendous foot speed and a willingness to go out there and put himself to the test.  To be a great miler you have to have guts and watching him run we can see he has that."


Gabe Moore || Multis || Freeport HS (Freeport, Fla.)
Personal Bests:
100 meter - 11.09
Long Jump - 6.90- 22-6.5
Shot Put - 15.02- 49-2.5
High Jump - 1.98- 6-5.5
400 meters - 49.04
110 hurdles - 15.01
Discus - 41.14- 134-9
Pole vault - 4.14- 13-6
Javelin - 51.81- 169-9
1500 - 4:48
                           Heptathlon - 5,187
                           Decathlon- 6,811

Notes on Moore:  Northwest Florida Amatuer Athlete of the Year; Wendy's High School Heisman Winner for the state of Florida; A 4.0 student, Moore was awarded with a Key to the City of Freeport; Finished sixth at the World Youth Championships in Donekst, Ukranine in 2013; Currently ranked No. 1 in the US high school rankings in both the pentathlon and heptathlon; Son of Chuck and Christine Pulsifer.

Why Moore chose Arkansas: "I knew when I visited in September that Arkansas was the family and team for me to join. The coaches and players made me feel right at home. When you combine that with their success, the choice was easy."

What Bucknam says about Moore: "Gabe is a fantastic all around student-athlete earning all state honors both in football and basketball.  He’s the type of athlete that can do whatever he wants.  We are thrilled he has dedicated his talents to the decathlon.  When the lights turn on Gabe competes.  He’s a tremendous competitor similar to our Kevin Lazas.  We have established a great decathlon tradition here and he’s the type of student-athlete that will help us continue that success."


Andrew Henn || Javelin || Paola HS (Paola Kan.)
Personal Best:
Javelin - 191-5.0

Notes on Henn: State Champion; KU Relays Champion; 2013 Great Southwest Class Champion; Holds the school record; Son of Jerry and Denise Henn.

Why Henn chose Arkansas: "I chose Arkansas for multiple reasons. The business department is outstanding and athletics are like no other. The tradition of the track team is the best in the nation. I want to be able to compete for a national title and I feel that this is one of the best spots to do it. The facilities are the nicest you can find and the coaches are all top notch."

What Bucknam says about Henn: "Drew is a very well rounded athlete that has excelled in multiple sports.  I the end of the day he knows how to win.  He’s very competitive and we are excited about the young javelin potential we have with both him and Alex."

 


Rubin Owens || Jumps || Le Roy HS (Le Roy, N.Y.)
Personal Bests:
High Jump - 6-10
Long Jump - 22-9
Triple Jump - 48-10

Notes on Owens: New York high school state champion in the high jump and state runner-up in the triple jump; New York section five track and field MVP; Currently ranked as the No. 3 high school triple jumper in the US; Son of Gary and Donna Owens.

Why Owens chose Arkansas: "Out of all the other places I have visited and looked into, Arkansas felt like home. I feel that if I want to excel in track and as a person, this is the place that I need to be. There is a pool of opportunity just waiting for someone to dive into."

What Bucknam says about Owens: "We could see very early that Rubin was a special athlete with tremendous ability in all 3 jumps.  He’s a great kid with a fantastic work ethic that wants to be good.  He reminds us a little of Anthony May.  Any time you add a triple threat like that it’s value added to any program.  We are excited he has chosen Arkansas.  

 


Noah Gilfillan || Pole Vault ||  (Corsicana, Texas)
Personal Best:
Pole Vault - 17-1

Notes on Gilfillan: Undefeated in competition indoors in 2014; Finished state runner up at the Texas state meet and third at the Great Southwest Classic; Currently ranked as the No. 1 high school vaulter in the nation;  Son of Jim and Tiffany Gilfillan.

Why Gilfillan chose Arkansas: "I had several great schools I could have chosen, but I chose Arkansas because it was the right fit for me. They not only have great academics but an incredible track and field program. I felt very comfortable with the coaching staff and the track athletes are very friendly. It just feels like home."

What Bucknam says about Gilfillan: "Noah is a big vaulter that runs well.  He’s still fairly new to the event and already has established himself as one of the very best young vaulters in the US.  We knew as soon as we saw him he was a special talent.  We are very excited to get him stronger and faster and be another 18’Plus vaulter for our program." 

 


Derek Zimmerman || Jumps/Sprints || Freeman HS (Freeman, Neb.)
Personal Bests:
Triple Jump - 48-4.75
Long Jump - 22-8.25
100 meters - 10.8

Notes on Zimmerman: 2013 Wendy's Heisman State Finalist; Back-to-back triple jump state champion; Long jump state champion (2013) and runner-up (2012); Nebraska State and USATF record holder in triple jump; Placed fourth in triple jump at the 2013 USATF National Championships; Named to All-Nebraska Track and Field USATF Young Men (2013) and Intermediate Boys (2011); Academic All-State; Two-time NSAA NCPA Academic All-State Award recipient; A 4.0 student ranked No. 1 in his graduating class; Son of Dean and Karen Zimmerman.

Why Zimmerman chose Arkansas: "I chose Arkansas because I loved the track and field atmosphere, the coaches, and athletes there. Arkansas was the best place for me to continue and improve my track and field career.

What Bucknam says about Zimmerman: "Derek is a big strong kid with a fantastic work ethic both on and off the track.  We feel his potential is tremendous in the triple jump and he has a passion to be great.  He’s also a very good long jumper and has very good foot speed for an athlete his size.  He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC and NCAA in the future."


Juan Green || Sprints || South Plains CC
Personal Bests:
400 meters - 46.18
600 yards - 1:10.19
800 meters - 1:52.84
Long Jump - 23-0

Notes on Green:  Finished runner-up in the 400-meter at the USA Junior Championships to qualify for the Pan-American Junior Championships; Competed in the 400-meter and 4x400 relay at the NCAA championships, earning first-team All-America honors in the relay with a fifth-place finish and second-team All-America in the 400-meter; Set a personal best 46.18 in the 400-meter at the NCAA Championships.; Named Scholar Athlete of the Week; Son of Alfred and Sheryl-Anne Green.

Why Green chose Arkansas: "The reason why I chose Arkansas is because I have complete trust in Coach Case that he'll help me continue on where I left off here at South Plains as far as training and getting the right exposure for life after college. Also hearing the many national titles that they have earned it  made me want to be apart of that glory and so it was an easy pick. The facilities for student athletes, the new surfaced track and the addition of adding a another piece to beautiful Arkansas indoor facility was all part of my decision. Altogether, I knew I belonged and that being a Razorback was going to be the right fit for me."

What Bucknam says about Green: "Juan is one of the very best young quarter milers in the US.  At the end of the day we want our big guns ready to roll in that 4x400.  Coach Case has established Arkansas as one of the premier 4x4 schools in the country.  Our guys know we are going to be in the mix.  Juan has the talent to be one of the best in the open 400 and gives us amazing fire power in the relay."


Zachary Riley || Sprints || Arkansas Baptist (Benton, Ark.)
Personal Bests:
60 meter - 6.89
100 meter – 10.33
200 meter - 21.11

Notes on Riley: At Arkansas Baptist: All-American; Deans List and President's list for Academics; At Benton HS: Three-year All-Conference and All-State; 100m and 200m dash State Champion; Won meet of champs in 2012; Second-oldest of eight children; Son of Kevin and Lisa Riley.

Why Riley chose Arkansas: "As an Arkansas native, it was always a dream of mine to become a Razorback. I want to continue my career in track and go wherever my legs take me from here."

What Bucknam says about Riley: "Zach is a home grown talent that belongs with us as a Razorback.  We’ve watched his talents since high school and watching him develop this year we know he is a big time SEC caliber sprinter.  He has fantastic range and is a great kid that is going keep Arkansas on the map as a premier sprint program."


  Alex George || Distance || (Great Britain)
Personal Bests:
1,500 meter - 3:49.89
3,000 - meter - 8:18.90
Mile - 4:10.48

Notes on George: In cross-country has represented Great Britain twice in international competition; Finished eighth at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country - International Challenge, and was top British athlete; Gloucestershire County champion in both the 1500 and 3000 meters; Runner-up in the midland championships 1500 and finished fifth in the all English schools championships in the 3k.

Why George chose Arkansas: "Initially trying to find a school was quite daunting, I was looking for a school which combined a good academic program and a top quality athletic set-up. I feel Arkansas can offer me both. As soon as I set foot on campus I felt 'at home'. The team and coaches are a great group and I felt I really got along with them and could see eye to eye with them. I liked the emphasis on the track seasons, and to have the opportunity to compete in the SEC would be an amazing experience. The history of the program also drew me in and the facilities are the best I've seen, I have great pride in saying that I'll be competing for the razorbacks and hopefully adding to the history of the program."

What Bucknam says about George: "Alex is a very young distance runner that has tremendous potential.  He’s done some terrific things already on very low mileage. He’s a getter both in cross country and on the track. He has fantastic range from 1500 through 10k and is exactly the type of talent we need to continue our strong distance tradition here at Arkansas. He could have gone anywhere and we couldn’t be more excited that he has chosen to join us here as a Razorback."

 

Anthony Blakely || Sprints || Arkansas Baptist (Hensley, Ark.)
Personal Bests:
60 meter - 6.81
100 meter – 10.53
200 meter – 20.88 

Notes on Blakely: Placed eighth at indoor nationals in the 200-meters; Placed sixth at the outdoor nationals in the 200-meter with a time of 20.88. Indoor 2013: nationals 200m placed 8th; Currently ranked 10th in the 60 meters and 9th in the 200 meters in the junior college rankings; Son of Donna Smith and grandson of Linda and Carlton Allen. 

Why Blakely chose Arkansas: "Arkansas has been my number one school since my junior year of high school. Arkansas has a winning program that I'm trying to be a part of. I like what Coach Case is doing with the program. He's a great coach and I'm looking forward to him being my coach/mentor, academically and athletically. My personality seemed to mesh with the vibe the school was giving off."

What Bucknam says about Blakely: "Anthony is another home-grown talent with fantastic range. With him and Zach (Riley) on the same 4x100 we are going to continue to be a force to be reckoned with. He’s a motivated young man that wants to be great and is a perfect fit to help us continue to score big points in the sprints."

For more information regarding Razorback track and field follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.


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