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No. 4 Razorbacks in Second Place at SEC Championships

05/16/2014
Athletic Communications
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LEXINGTON, Ky.  – The University of Arkansas men’s track and field team is in second place after day two at the SEC Outdoor Championships. A runner-up performance in the 10,000-meter by Gabe Gonzalez and third-place decathlon finish from Nathanael Franks put the Razorbacks in second place behind Georgia.

Team Standings (Thru Day Two)
1. Georgia – 48 pts.
2. Arkansas – 14 pts.
3. Texas A&M – 13 pts.
4. Alabama – 11 pts.
4. Florida – 11 pts.
6. Kentucky – 6 pts.
7. South Carolina – 5 pts.
8. Auburn – 3 pts.
8. Missouri – 3 pts.
10. Mississippi – 2 pts.
11. Mississippi State – 1 pt.

“I’m proud of Franks on a third-place finish in the decathlon,” said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. “And in the 10K, we got a great race from our sophomore Gonzalez, finishing second place.”

A runner-up performance by sophomore Gabe Gonzalez wrapped up day two on a positive note, adding eight points to the Razorback’s total. Gonzalez paced the SEC 10K leaderboard all season, finishing strong in second place Friday night.

It was a successful night in the preliminaries for Arkansas as three runners advanced to the finals. The Razorbacks qualified two in the 800-meter prelims, with Tomas Squella (1:48.48) and Patrick Rono (1:48.49) finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. Also moving on to the final round is Larry Donald. With a ninth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.05, the freshman advances to his first championship finals event as a Razorback.

Earlier in the day, the decathletes started off strong with Brad Culp and Lane Austell earning a season-best finish in the 110-meter hurdles at 15.45 and 15.75, respectively. Franks posted a time of 15.43, just missing his personal record of 15.42. A second-place throw of 139-7 earned Franks 717 points, moving him into fourth place in the overall decathlon standings. Austell had a season-best throw of 126-7 for 636 points, bumping him up three spots to No. 11 with three events remaining. Culp landed at a mark of 108-11, holding on to his No. 9 spot in the overall standings.

Rain moved into the area, delaying the pole vault competition and moving the event indoors. The adjustment had little effect on the Razorbacks, as Franks cleared 14-5.25, taking down his previous personal best of 14-1.25. Culp finished third in the event with a 15-1 clearance.

In the final event of the decathlon, Franks crossed the finish line of the 1,500-meter in 4:29.84 for a third-place finish in the event and securing his overall third-place finish in the decathlon with 7,188 points. It marks Franks’ third all-conference performance of his career. Culp ended the day in 12th place with 6,645 points, followed by Austell in 13th with 6,511 points. 

“It was up and down,” said Franks of his performance. “Day one, I came out with no PRs, but today I stepped it up. I’m happy to be able to contribute six points for my teammates. This will be a tough SEC meet, just like all of them. But we’re out here to compete as a team.”
Tomorrow’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. (CT) with the long jump, followed by discus, 1,500-meter, 110 hurdles, 400-meter, and 3,000-meter steeplechase.

“We lost some points today we were expecting to get,” said Bucknam. “So we have some making up to do tomorrow. But you fight adversity, and everyone is fighting is hard. Big day tomorrow, a chance to make up some points.”

For updates from the 2014 SEC Outdoor Championships follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter. Live results of the SEC Championships can be followed here.

Friday Results

200-Meter (Prelims)
23. Curtis Brown – 23.57 (PR – prev. 23.59)

800-Meter (Prelims)
5. Tomas Squella – 1:48.98q
6. Patrick Rono – 1:48.99q
24. Andrew Pisechko – 1:52.89
28. Cale Wallace – 1:56.14

400-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
9. Larry Donald – 54.05q
14. Omar McLeod – 55.46

10,000-Meter
2. Gabe Gonzalez – 29:50.69

Decathlon (Final)
3. Nathanael Franks (7,188 pts.)
    12. 100m – 11.54
     7. LJ – 22-0.25
     2. SP – 41-10.5
     8. HJ – 6-0.5
     3. 400m – 49.95
     8. 110H – 15.43
     2. DT – 139-7
     6. PV – 14-5.25 (PR – prev. 14-1.25)
     5. Jav – 161-1
     3. 1500m – 4:29.84

12. Brad Culp (6,645 pts.)
     4. 100m – 11.13 (PR – prev. 11.15)
     12. LJ – 21-2.75 (PR – prev. 20-9.75)
     10. SP – 37-10
     11. HJ – 5-11.25 (PR – prev. 5-10)
     13. 400m – 52.07
     9. 110H – 15.45 (PR – prev. 15.75)
     6. DT – 108-11
     3. PV – 15-1
     10. Jav – 151-3
     11.  1500m – 4:56.26

13. Lane Austell (6,511 pts.)
     11. 100m – 11.47
     11. LJ – 21-2.75 (PR – prev. 20-4.25)
     9. SP – 37-10.5 (PR – prev. 37-3)
     14. HJ – 5-6.5
     10. 400m – 51.49
     11. 110H – 15.75 (PR – prev. 15.92)
     11. DT – 126-7
     8. PV – 14-5.25
     12. Jav – 141-11
     13.  1500m – 5:03.32


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