FAYETTEVILLE - The distance crew for the No. 4 University of Arkansas men's track and field team opened up Friday night at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. Overall, the Razorbacks collected five personal bests in three events with career-best marks by Drew Butler at 1,500 meters, Lane Boyer, Solomon Haile and Cameron Efurd at 5,000 meters and Rick Elliott in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
In the team's first result of the day, David Flynn and Elliott finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Flynn turned in a time of 8:49.24 while Elliott crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 8:51.03. With the performance, Elliott eclipsed his previous best time of 8:52.70 run last season at the NCAA West Preliminary.
Patrick Rono turned in the Razorbacks' fastest time over 1,500 meters. He finished with a time of 3:48.50 and finished 28th overall in a combined section one and two. Of three Arkansas runners in section three, Anthony Lieghio was the team's top performer with an eighth-place finish and a time of 3:49.07.Butler took more than seven seconds off his personal best with a 12th-place finish in section four. He finished the race with a time of 3:52.68.
Arkansas closed out the day with competition in the 5,000 meters. In his first race at the distance since 2010, Boyer notched a personal best with this time of 14:07.85 which was good for 22nd place in section two. He was followed by Haile who was 24th in a time of 14:09.81, a personal-best performance for the Razorback sophomore. Both Boyer and Haile redshirted during the 2011 outdoor season.
In section three of the 5,000 meters, Layne Nixon made his event debut with a 20th-place finish and a time of 14:23.92. Efurd collected the Razorbacks' third personal best in the event with a run of 14:26.37, more than 12 seconds faster than his previous best.
Competition at the Stanford Invitational concludes Saturday with Butler and Duncan Phillips scheduled to compete at 800 meters. Meet coverage-including races and interviews-will be available at Flotrack.org. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Stanford Invitational - Friday Results
11. David Flynn - 8:49.24
12. Rick Elliott - 8:51.03 (PR)