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Final Day of West Preliminary Produces More NCAA Qualifiers

06/01/2014
Athletic Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  – A successful final day at the 2014 West Preliminary pushed four individuals and two relays through to Eugene, Ore., bringing the individual qualifying list to 15 for Arkansas. The No. 4 Razorbacks will have 14 total entries at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Following Saturday's competition, Omar McLeod (110H), Stanley Kebenei (5,000-meter), Raymond Higgs (long jump) and Anthony May (long jump) will represent the No. 4 Razorbacks at the Outdoor Championships following Friday’s qualifying performances. In addition, the men’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams will compete for a national title in Eugene.

A season-best performance in the 4x100 at 39.37 will send Eric Hawkins, Jarrion Lawson, Neil Braddy and McLeod to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The quartet clocked the ninth-fastest time in Arkansas school history to advance.

"It was a very successful weekend for us," said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. "We pretty much got everthing we expected heading to Eugene. Our guys have been competing since January, it's a long grind. This can be a cruel meet because of everything at stake, but we got through it and everything went well. We had a lot of qualifiers this weekend."

Braddy’s late push in the anchor leg of the 4x400 put the Razorbacks in second place in their heat to finish in 3:06.07 for an automatic qualifying spot. McLeod led the relay, followed by Travis Southard and Eric Janise who gained ground to put Braddy in position to move up in the pack and notch the automatic qualifying spot.

McLeod made a strong statement in the 110-meter hurdles, clock 13.44 for his second automatic qualifying performance of the day. His time gives the McLeod sole possession of the all-time No. 2 spot in Arkansas school history. The freshman will go for his second NCAA Title in Eugene, heading into the Outdoor Championships as the 2014 Indoor National Champion in the 60-meter hurdles.

After qualifying in long jump on Friday, Higgs and May turned around to double qualify in triple jump as well. Higgs leaped out to a personal-best 51-6.5 on his first jump of the day to take the No. 1 spot. After dropping to 10th place in the final round, a fifth-attempt jump of 52-2.75 would improve Higgs' PR and move him into the top three for an automatic bid to Eugene. May made it into the finals, earning a mark of 51-10 on a fifth-round jump to give the senior his second qualifying mark of the weekend.


After hanging in the middle of the pack for a majority of the 5,000-meter, Stanley Kebenei made a hard push on the final lap to secure his second qualifying spot of the week. Kebenei also qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday night. His time of 13:51.85 in Saturday's 5K marked the top outdoor performance of his career.

The No. 4 Razorbacks will head to Eugene, Ore. June 11-14 for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Arkansas will be represented by 14 individuals as the Razorbacks compete for the National Title.

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

Saturday Results

5,000-Meter
6. Stanley Kebenei – 13:51.85q

110-Meter Hurdles
4. Omar McLeod – 13.44Q (PR – prev. 13.50)

4x100-Meter Relay
4. Hawkins/Lawson/Braddy/McLeod – 39.37Q

4x400-Meter Relay
7. McLeod/Southard/Janise/Braddy – 3:06.07

Discus
33. Devin Randall – 170-6

Triple Jump
3. Raymond Higgs – 52-3.75 (PR – prev. 48-11.5)q
8. Anthony May – 51-10q
34. Clive Pullen – 48-10

Complete List of NCAA Qualifiers
Neil Braddy – 4x100, 4x400
Eric Hawkins – 4x100
Raymond Higgs – Long Jump, Triple Jump
Andrew Irwin – Pole Vault
Eric Janise – 4x400
Stanley Kebenei – Steeplechase, 5,000m
Noah Kittelson – High Jump
Ken LeGassey – High Jump
Jarrion Lawson – 4x100
Kevin Lazas - Decathlon
Anthony May – Long Jump, Triple Jump
Omar McLeod – 110H, 4x100, 4x400
Patrick Rono – 800m
Travis Southard – 4x400
Tomas Squella – 800m


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