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Omar McLeod won an NCAA title Saturday in the 60-meter hurdles.
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Men's Track Finishes Second at NCAA Championships

03/16/2014
Athletic Communications
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of Arkansas men's track and field team finished second at the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. The Razorbacks scored 54 points over the two-day national meet, eight points behind Oregon and 18 points ahead of third-place and No. 1 ranked Florida. 

Freshman Omar McLeod won the team's second NCAA title of the weekend with his victory Saturday in the 60-meter hurdles. He recorded top-finishing time of 7.58 in his first-ever NCAA Championship meet. McLeod’s time followed an NCAA-leading performance in Friday’s prelims with a school-best 7.57. It was the second champion for the Razorbacks, following Jarrion Lawson’s record-setting long jump title on Friday.

It was an impressive performance across the board over the weekend, as all but two competing Razorbacks scored in the national meet, combining in a team effort for the second-place win. All individuals placed in the top-10, while a hamstring injury altered Raymond Higg’s performance. The senior still continued through two more jumps, before finishing 12th overall.

“We had a very, very good meet, our kids came to play hard and that’s what we did,” said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. “We were only eight points from first, but our kids came away with two national champions, a school record and several All-Americans. I have no question about the effort that was put forth to win this meet. I’m very, very proud of them. We had to go through a meat grinder at the SEC Championships to get here and with all the injuries we’ve had, the fact that we got second was pretty amazing. It was a testament to the way our kids compete and what they put into being a Razorback.”

Senior Kevin Lazas wrapped up the day with a third-place finish in the men’s heptathlon, earning six points for the Razorbacks. A third-place finish in the pole vault with a mark of 17-2.75 gave Lazas the push he needed to break back into the top-three. He held strong in his place, finishing the day with 5,973 points. An all-around consistent performance leaves the senior happy about his final indoor meet.

“It was probably one of my better meets because I did so many good things that will carry into outdoors and help me progress as the season goes on,” said Lazas.

Coming off surgery in the fall, NCAA defending pole vault champion Andrew Irwin finished fourth, clearing 18-.5 to add to Arkansas’ scoring total.

Following a top-10 finish in the high jump on day one, Anthony May scored in the triple jump, finishing fifth with a mark of 52-7.25. Freshman Clive Pullen finished in the top-10 at his first-ever NCAA Championship meet, jumping 51-8.25 for a 9th place finish in the triple jump.

“Our guys competed hard,” said Assistant Coach Travis Geopfert. “It’s a team effort and it was a great team effort. They went out there and got after it – every single one of them. We had some adversity and we overcame it in some situations and at the end of the day that’s all I can ask for. I ‘m really proud of them and ready to get after it at outdoors.”

The 800-meter duo of Patrick Rono and Tomas Squella finished 3-4, respectively, giving the Razorbacks 11 extra points. Rono came third with a time of 1:49.04, while Squella's time of 1:49.23 earned him a fourth-place finish.

Arkansas' 4x400 relay team finished strong in the final event of the night. with a third-place finish in 3:06.29. Lawson, Neil Braddy, Travis Southard and McLeod made up the final scoring squad of the meet, earning six points.


For more information on Razorback Track & Field, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.


All-American Honors
The Razorbacks earned 15 individual first-team All-American honors, while placing three on second team.
   
First Team
Neil Braddy, 4x400 Relay (3:06.39)
Andrew Irwin, Pole Vault (18-.5)
Eric Janise, DMR (9:43.19)
Jarrion Lawson, Long Jump (27-6.5)/4x400 Relay (3:06.39)
Kevin Lazas, Heptathlon (5, 973 points)
Anthony May, Triple Jump (52-7.25)
Omar McLeod, 60-meter hurdles (7.58)/4x400 Relay (3:06.39)
Andrew Pisechko, DMR (9:43.19)
Patrick Rono, 800-meter (1:49.04)/DMR (9:43.19)
Travis Southard, 4x400 Relay (3:06.39)
Tomas Squella, 800-meter (1:49.23)
Cale Wallace, DMR (9:43.19)

Second Team
Raymond Higgs, Long Jump (24-9)
Anothony May, High Jump (7-.5)
Clive Pullen, Triple Jump (51-8.25)

Friday Results

Pole Vault
4. Andrew Irwin – 18-.5 (5.00m)

Triple Jump
5. Anthony May – 52-7.25 (16.03m)
9. Clive Pullen – 51-8.25 (15.75m)

60-meter Hurdles (Final)
1. Omar McLeod – 7.58

800-meter
3. Patrick Rono – 1:49.04
4. Tomas Squella – 1:49.23

4x400 Relay
3. Lawson, Braddy, Southard, McLeod – 3:06.29

Heptathlon (Finals)
3. Kevin Lazas – 5,973 pts.
     9. 60m hurdles – 8.31
     3. PV – 17-2.75 (5.25m)
     8. 1000m – 2:50.08


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