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Higgs, Kebenei Crowned SEC Champions

05/18/2014
Athletic Communications
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LEXINGTON, Ky.  – Following an impressive showing on day three at the 2014 SEC Outdoor Championships, the University of Arkansas men’s track and field team sits just one point out of first place heading into the final day of competition. A 37-point day gives the No. 4 Razorbacks 51 total points, just one point behind Georgia.

Team Standings (Thru Day Two)
1. Georgia – 52 pts.
2. Arkansas – 51 pts.
3. Alabama – 29 pts.
4. Texas A&M – 25 pts.
5. Kentucky – 21 pts.
6. Florida – 11 pts.
6. Mississippi – 11 pts.
8. Auburn – 10 pts.
9. LSU – 6 pts.
10 Missouri – 5 pts.
10. South Carolina – 5 pts.
10. Tennessee – 5 pts.
13. Mississippi State – 3 pts.

Raymond Higgs jumped 26-0.75 on his second attempt, which would stand as the best mark of the day and crown Higgs as the 2014 SEC Long Jump Champion. Jarrion Lawson earned his second-place finish on his second jump with a runner-up mark of 26-0. In fourth place heading in to the final leap, a last-chance jump for Anthony May landed at 25-8.25 to move the senior into a third-place finish and take down his previous PR of 25-0.5 set at last year’s SEC Championships. The 1-2-3 finish for the Razorbacks was a huge momentum-builder, earning some much-needed points.

“The 1-2-3 finish was an emotional boost that we needed,” said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. “We were ten points shy of where we thought we needed to be but today we got those points back and then some. We’re back in the game and back where we need to be.”

Stanley Kebenei entered the meet with the third-best steeplechase time in the NCAA, clocking 8:40.98 to easily win the event and be crowned the 2014 SEC Steeplechase Champion. He was followed by Raymond Joseph at 9:05.01, finishing sixth to score for the Razorbacks.

“Kebenei is one of the best steeplechasers in the country,” said Bucknam. “Joseph finishing sixth was three much-needed points. At this point, everything matters.”

In prelim events, Patrick Rono was an automatic qualifier in the 1,500-meter with a time of 3:56.72, moving on to Sunday’s finals. He will also run the 800m on Sunday, after qualifying in Friday’s prelims. After clipping the last hurdle in the 400-meter hurdles on Friday preventing him from a chance at finals, Omar McLeod came out strong in the 110 hurdles with an automatic-qualifying performance of 13.50 to advance to Sunday’s finals. McLeod's finish ties the No. 2 time in Arkasnas history.

The Razorbacks will look to continue their momentum into tomorrow, as the 2014 SEC Outdoor Championships conclude and Arkansas pushes for its third-consecutive SEC Triple Crown. For updates from the 2014 SEC Outdoor Championships follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.

Saturday Results

400-Meter (Prelims)
11. Neil Braddy – 47.14
12. Eric Janise – 47.37
17. Travis Southard – 47.63

1,500-Meter (Prelims)
10. Patrick Rono – 3:56.72Q
18. Cale Wallace – 4:01.04
25. Andrew Pisechko – 4:13.13

110-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
3. Omar McLeod – 13.50Q
14. Larry Donald – 14.45

3,000-Meter Steeplechase
1. Stanley Kebenei – 8:40.98
6. Raymond Joseph – 9:05.01

Long Jump
1. Raymond Higgs – 26-0.75
2. Jarrion Lawson – 26-0
3. Anthony May – 25-8.25

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