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Courtesy: Walt Beazley
Nathanael Franks capped his day with a personal best in the high jump.
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Franks paces Razorback trio in SEC heptathlon

02/22/2013
Zach Lawson, Athletic Media Relations
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FAYETTEVILLE – At the end of day one and through four events in the heptathlon, the top-ranked University of Arkansas men’s track and field team has three athletes in scoring position at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships. Sophomore Nathanael Franks leads a trio of Razorbacks with his third-place spot. He is followed by teammates Matt Kirbos in fourth place and Julius Sommer in sixth.

The heptathlon resumes Saturday with the final three events and will represent Arkansas’ first scoring opportunity of the weekend. Day two of the conference meet will also offer chances for points with entries in the finals of the 3,000 meters, high jump and long jump. Saturday’s competition begins at 10 a.m. (CT) with the weight throw at Walker Pavilion. Action at the Randal Tyson Track Center starts at noon.

“Today went really well,” multi-events coach Travis Geopfert said. “Across the board, all three of those guys had personal bests. They just had a phenomenal day and competed really well. The long jump was a really key event for us to get the ball rolling and they kept building off that.”

During the course of Friday’s four events, Franks scored 3,081 points posted two personal-best performances with his efforts in the long jump and high jump. He added nearly 11 inches to his PR in the long jump with his day’s best of 6.99m/22-11.25 and was more than an inch over his personal best in the high jump with a final clearance of 1.95m/6-4.75. Franks added a second-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 13.91m/45-7.75.

In his first SEC competition since the 2011 season, Kirbos responded with 3,049 points and a pair of personal-best efforts. He opened his day with a lifetime best of 7.12 over 60 meters and added another PR of 13.45m/44-1.5 in the shot put. Kirbos’ mark in that event was more than two feet past his previous best. He finished third overall in both the 60 meters and shot put.

Sommer made his conference debut with 3,000 points on day one and personal-best marks in each of Friday’s four events. In his first event of the day, he clocked in at 7.34 in the 60 meters. He followed that with marks of 7.04m/23-1.25 and 13.22m/43-4.5 in the long jump and shot put, respectively. The Razorback freshman added more than a foot to his shot put personal best. Sommer closed out his day with a clearance of 1.92m/6-3.5 in the high jump.

For tickets to the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships, visit the Razorback Ticket Center on Razorback Road by Baum Stadium, log on to the online ticket office at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or call 800/982-HOGS (4647).

ESPN3.com will carry the SEC Indoor Championships with coverage set for Saturday and Sunday. Commentary duties will be handled by Dwight Stones (play-by-play), Larry Rawson (color analyst) and Lewis Johnson (sideline reporter). ArkansasRazorbacks.com will stream early Saturday and Sunday coverage. A tape-delay television broadcast of the conference meet will air March 13 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

The official hash tag of the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships is #SECTF. 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.

Friday Results
Heptathlon
3. Nathanael Franks – 3,081 points
    5. 60 Meters – 7.27 [789 points]
    6. Long jump – 6.99m/22-11.25 [811 points] (PR – prev: 22-0.75)
    2. Shot put – 13.91m/45-7.75 [723 points]
    3. High jump – 1.95m/6-4.75 [758 points] (PR – prev: 6-3.25)
4. Matt Kirbos – 3,049 points
    3. 60 Meters – 7.12 [840 points] (PR – prev: 7.19)
    4. Long jump – 7.09m/23-3.25 [835 points]
    3. Shot put – 13.45m/44-1.5 [695 points] (PR – prev: 41-7.75)
    8. High jump – 1.86m/6-1.25 [679 points]
6. Julius Sommer – 3,000 points
    7. 60 Meters – 7.34 [765 points] (PR – prev: 7.40)
    5. Long jump – 7.04m/23-1.25 [823 points] (PR – prev: 22-4.25)
    5. Shot put – 13.22m/43-4.5 [681 points] (PR – prev: 42-1.5)
    5. High jump – 1.92m/6-3.5 [731 points] (PR – prev: 6-2.25)

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