FAYETTEVILLE - The fourth-ranked University of Arkansas men's track team will send 35 total qualifiers-33 individual and two relays-to the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary which will be contested May 24-26 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. The top 48 declared athletes were selected into individual events per region, while the top 24 relay teams declared per region also qualified.
The NCAA East Preliminary will be held the same weekend at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Those who advance past the preliminary round will compete June 6-9 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. The top 12 from each region in each event, including relays, advance to the NCAA Championships.
Arkansas has a team-high four qualifiers in the 400 meters with Akheem Gauntlett (No. 5, 45.57), Neil Braddy (No. 10, 46.03), Ben Skidmore (No. 22, 46.50) and Travis Southard (No. 35, 46.88). In other sprint competition, Marek Niit (No. 19, 20.81) will run at 200 meters. Niit was the 2011 NCAA outdoor runner-up at 200 meters.
The Razorbacks have three entries each in the 800 meters, 5,000 meters, 110-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump. At 800 meters, the team will be represented by Leoman Momoh (No. 25, 1:48.73), Anthony Lieghio (No. 30, 1:49.25) and Drew Butler (No. 36, 1:49.43). In the 5K, Lane Boyer (No. 23, 14:01.84), Solomon Haile (No. 40, 14:09.81) and Eric Fernandez (No. 43, 14:10.10) will run.
Caleb Cross (110mH - No. 10, 13.71; 400mH - No. 7, 50.30) and Kyle Dunn (110mH - No. 28, 14.15; 400mH - No. 21, 51.26) are scheduled to compete in both hurdle events. Terry Prentice (No. 42, 14.28) is in the field for the 110-meter hurdles while Hunter Bourke (No. 38, 51.95) will join Cross and Dunn in the 400-meter hurdles.
In field action, the high jump competition will include Brede Ellingsen (No. 10, 2.18m/7-1.75), Noah Kittelson (No. 12, 2.17m/7-1.5) and Dwayne Golbek (No. 21, 2.15m/7-0.5). The three Razorbacks in the long jump are scheduled to be NCAA leader Raymond Higgs (No. 1, 8.36m/27-5.25), Kevin Lazas (No. 24, 7.55m/24-9.5) and Prentice (7.54m/24-9).
Duncan Phillips (No. 11, 3:43.14) is Arkansas' top performer at 1,500 meters and will be joined in the event by Patrick Rono (No. 32, 3:46.30). In other long-distance events, Boyer (No. 29, 29:29.52) and Fernandez (No. 36, 29:34.54) are entered at 10,000 meters while David Flynn (No. 11, 8:49.20) and Rick Elliott (No. 13, 8:51.03) will toe the line in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Both Arkansas relays (4x100m - No. 5, 39.23; 4x400m - No. 2, 3:02.47) have qualified for the preliminary round. In the throws, Justin Holmes (No. 35, 53.76m/176-4) will compete in the discus and Luke Laird (No. 38, 63.97m/209-10) qualified for the javelin.
Along with the accepted entries for next weekend's preliminary events, the list of decathlon qualifiers that will advance directly to the NCAA Championships was also released. Arkansas will be represented in the two-day, 10-event competition by Lazas, Prentice and Gunnar Nixon. With three entries in the decathlon, the Razorbacks have the most qualifiers in the event.
On the heels of their SEC title, the Razorbacks moved up to No. 4 in the May 15 release of the USTFCCCA national poll. Arkansas is up two spots from last week. All six SEC teams in the rankings-Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn and Mississippi State-are inside the top 16. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
NCAA West Preliminary Entries
19. Marek Niit, 20.81
5. Akheem Gauntlett, 45.57
10. Neil Braddy, 46.03
22. Ben Skidmore, 46.50
35. Travis Southard, 46.88
25. Leoman Momoh, 1:48.73
30. Anthony Lieghio, 1:49.25
36. Drew Butler, 1:49.43
11. Duncan Phillips, 3:43.14
32. Patrick Rono, 3:46.30
23. Lane Boyer, 14:01.84
40. Solomon Haile, 14:09.81
43. Eric Fernandez, 14:10.10
29. Lane Boyer, 29:29.52
36. Eric Fernandez, 29:34.54
10. Caleb Cross, 13.71
28. Kyle Dunn, 14.15
42. Terry Prentice, 14.28
7. Caleb Cross, 50.30
21. Kyle Dunn, 51.26
38. Hunter Bourke, 51.95
11. David Flynn, 8:49.20
13. Rick Elliott, 8:51.03
5. Cross/Gauntlett/Braddy/Niit, 39.23
2. Niit/Gauntlett/Skidmore/Braddy, 3:02.47
10. Brede Ellingsen, 2.18m/7-1.75
12. Noah Kittelson, 2.17m/7-1.5
21. Dwayne Golbek, 2.15m/7-0.5
1. Andrew Irwin, 5.72m/18-9.25
43. Kevin Lazas, 5.15m/16-10.75
1. Raymond Higgs, 8.36m/27-5.25
24. Kevin Lazas, 7.55m/24-9.25
25. Terry Prentice, 7.54m/24-9
35. Justin Holmes, 53.76m/176-4
38. Luke Laird, 63.97m/209-10
NCAA Championships Entries
10. Kevin Lazas - 7,778 points
11. Gunnar Nixon - 7,660 points
18. Terry Prentice - 7,585 points
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