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Courtesy: Walt Beazley
Andrew Irwin picked up the Razorbacks' first win of the weekend Friday in the pole vault.
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No. 1 Razorbacks take team lead on day one

01/25/2013
Zach Lawson, Athletic Media Relations
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FAYETTEVILLE – The top-ranked University of Arkansas men’s track and field team scored in four events on day one of the Razorback Team Invitational in Fayetteville. The team collected 10 points from a win in the pole vault from Andrew Irwin and eight points from Akheem Gauntlett’s runner-up effort at 200 meters. In the heptathlon, Kevin Lazas owns the day-one lead with three events to go Saturday.

Irwin won his second event title in as many competitions with his first-place performance in the pole vault. He finished the meet with a final clearance of 5.31m/17-5. Irwin dodged a bullet at his opening height, clearing the bar set at 5.06m/16-7.25 on his third attempt. He corrected himself and cleared the next two heights without a miss. The win earned the Razorbacks 10 points on the team scoreboard.

In the final individual event on the track, Akheem Gauntlett ran to a second-place finish at 200 meters. Running in the ninth heat of the sectioned time final, he crossed the finish line in a time of 20.97. The performance was worth eight points for the Arkansas team total. All four Razorbacks in the field finished inside the top 20 with Anton Kokorin in ninth place, Marek Niit in 15th and Neil Braddy in 20th.

At the end of four events of the heptathlon, junior Kevin Lazas holds the day-one lead with 3,414 points with the help of three personal-best efforts. He will carry a 192-point lead into Saturday’s final three events. Lazas began his day with a personal best of 6.94 at 60 meters and wrapped competition with back-to-back lifetime bests of 14.79m/48-6.25 in the shot put and 2.01m/6-7 in the high jump.

“Overall, it was an unbelievable day,” Lazas said. “Hopefully, I can keep it up tomorrow and put up a big score. Today carries me over with huge momentum and energy into tomorrow. The plan is to excel tomorrow like I did today, starting off with the hurdles and go from there.”

Lazas is the top performer of the three Razorbacks remaining in the field, all of which are in scoring position. Matt Kirbos is currently in fourth place with 3,058 points and Julius Sommer sits in seventh with 2,875 points. Kirbos also established three personal bests Friday, while Sommer posted a pair of PRs. Saturday’s conclusion to the seven-event heptathlon will feature the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters.

The Razorbacks closed their night on the track with a second-place finish in the distance-medley relay. The quartet of Anthony Lieghio, Travis Southard, Tomas Squella and Patrick Rono combined for a time of 9:44.03 which earned the team eight points in the standings. Based on times entering the weekend, Arkansas now owns the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season.

The high jump event provided 17 points for the Razorbacks with Anthony May II and Brede Ellingsen tying for second place and Noah Kittelson finishing sixth overall. With identical series marks throughout the rounds of jumping, May and Ellingsen each finished the competition with a final clearance of 2.14m/7-0.25. In sixth place, Kittelson came away with a clearance of 2.10m/6-10.75 which was worth three points to the Razorbacks’ score.

In the preliminary round of the 60-meter hurdles, Caleb Cross won his heat in a season-best time of 7.76 to secure an automatic spot into the semifinals. The Newport, Ark., native finished as the third overall qualifier. Saturday’s semifinal round will be run at 1:55 p.m. with Cross in the second heat. The final of the hurdle event will also be contested Saturday at 3:20 p.m.

Devin Randall posted his third personal best in as many competitions during Friday’s shot put. He added an inch to his previous best with a throw of 16.45m/53-11.75 in the second round of throws. Randall finished in 12th place overall.

Fans can follow along this weekend with live results via Flash Results, an interactive blog and RazorVision video stream. Updates of the Razorback Team Invitational through Twitter will use the hash tag of #RazInv.

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
Team Standings
1. No. 1 Arkansas - 43
2. Nebraska - 40
3. Georgia - 39
4. Baylor - 30
5. No. 11 Texas - 27.5
5. No. 3 Florida - 27.5
7. No. 6 LSU - 20
8. No. 21 Florida State - 17
9. No. 13 Arizona - 14
10. Oklahoma - 9
11. Oklahoma State - 0

Individual Events
200 Meters (timed final)
2. Akheem Gauntlett – 20.97 [8 points]
9. Anton Kokorin – 21.58
15. Marek Niit – 21.64
20. Neil Braddy – 21.82
--. Hunter Bourke – DNS
--. Eric Janise – DNS

60m Hurdles (preliminary)
3. Caleb Cross – 7.76Q

Distance-Medley Relay
2. Lieghio/Southard/Squella/Rono – 9:44.03 [8 points]
4. Butler/Janise/Thomas/Efurd – 9:46.58

High Jump
2. Brede Ellingsen – 2.14m/7-0.25 [7 points]
2. Anthony May II – 2.14m/7-0.25 [7 points]
6. Noah Kittelson – 2.10m/6-10.75 [3 points]
--. Dwayne Golbek - NH

Pole Vault
1. Andrew Irwin – 5.31m/17-5 [10 points]

Long Jump
11. Jarrion Lawson – 7.05m/23-1.75

Shot Put
12. Devin Randall – 16.45m/53-11.75 (PR)
21. Deatrich Wise, Jr. – 13.97m/45-10
22. Auston Chen – 13.75m/45-1.5

Heptathlon (Day 1)
1. Kevin Lazas – 3,414 points
    1. 60m – 6.94 (PR) [904 points]
    1. Long jump – 7.44m/24-5 [920]
    1. Shot put – 14.79m/48-6.25 (PR) [777]
    4. High jump – 2.01m/6-7 (PR) [813]
4. Matt Kirbos – 3,058 points
    6. 60m – 7.15 (PR) [830 points]
    2. Long jump – 7.18m/23-6.75 (PR) [857]
    6. Shot put – 12.56m/41-2.5 [640]
    5. High jump – 1.92m/6-3.5 (PR) [731]
7. Julius Sommer – 2,875 points
    11. 60m – 7.40 (PR) [745 points]
    6. Long jump – 6.81m/22-4.25 [769]
    5. Shot put – 12.82m/42-0.75 [656]
    6. High jump – 1.89m/6-2.25 (PR) [705]
--. Nathanael Franks – DNF

PR – personal best; Q – qualified for next round

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