BATON ROUGE, La. - The No. 6 University of Arkansas men's track and field team occupies four of the top-seven spots after day one of the decathlon at the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championships at Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. Competing in the final conference meet of his career, senior Razorback Terry Prentice leads the field with a day-one score of 4,118 points.
"The guys got out and really competed hard today," assistant coach Travis Geopfert said. "Terry Prentice competed like a champion today as a senior leader for us. He had a PR in the long jump, shot put and 400 (meters) and was just a centimeter off his PR in the high jump. We're in good position heading into day two with three guys over 4,000 points and Chen with a day-one PR. We're in good shape but we have to go out and execute to finish it off tomorrow."
On his way to the decathlon lead, Prentice established three personal bests with his efforts in the long jump, shot put and 400 meters. After a solid 100 meters running into a headwind, he needed just one attempt in the long jump to get out to 7.54m/24-9. He followed that up with a day's best throw of 13.17m/43-2.5 in the shot put. Prentice wrapped his day with a career-best run of 49.83 to finish second in the 400 meters. Along the way, he also tied for first in the high jump.
In second place with 4,100 points, Gunnar Nixon collected two personal bests Thursday with a long jump mark of 7.31m/23-11.75 and a final high jump clearance of 2.05m/6-8.75. His effort in the high jump helped him tie for the event win. In the final event of the day, Nixon led a 1-2-3 finish for the Razorbacks in the 400 meters. He crossed the line in a time of 48.98, good for 862 points to move him into second place overall.
Kevin Lazas, currently in fourth place with 4,000 points, posted back-to-back personal bests with event wins in the long jump and shot put. After fouling on his first attempt in the long jump, the Razorback sophomore got out to a mark 7.55m/24-9.25 to finish just ahead of Prentice in the event. Lazas followed that with a career-best throw of 14.51m/47-7.25, adding more than three feet to his previous best.
Auston Chen began the day with a win at 100 meters with a time of 10.91, just .03 seconds off his personal best. He responded with a career-best effort in the long jump, getting a mark of 7.34m/24-1. After a second-place finish in the shot put and a seventh-place result in the high jump, Chen produced his second personal best of the day with a run of 49.68 at 400 meters. After day one, he is in seventh place with 3,819 points.
Live coverage of the conference meet will air on ESPN3.com on Saturday and Sunday. That coverage will air Saturday from 4:30-7:15 p.m. (CT) and Sunday from 3-7 p.m. Dwight Stones, Larry Rawson and Lewis Johnson will have the call of the action. A two-hour highlight show recapping the SEC Championships will air Wednesday, May 23, at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
Day two of the SEC Championships will feature the conclusion of the decathlon, 10,000 meters and prelims in the 200 meters, 800 meters and 400-meter hurdles. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Decathlon (Day 1)
1. Terry Prentice - 4,118 points
6. 100m - 11.17 - 823 points
2. Long Jump - 7.54m/24-9 (PR) - 945 points
6. Shot Put - 13.17m/43-2.5 (PR) - 678 points
1. High Jump - 2.05m/6-8.75 - 850 points
3. 400m - 49.83 (PR) - 822 points
2. Gunnar Nixon - 4,100 points
7. 100m - 11.23 - 810 points
4. Long Jump - 7.31m/23-11.75 (PR) - 888 points
3. Shot Put - 13.37m/43-10.5 - 690 points
1. High Jump - 2.05m/6-8.75 - 850 points
1. 400m - 48.98 - 862 points
4. Kevin Lazas - 4,000 points
5. 100m - 11.14 - 830 points
1. Long Jump - 7.55m/24-9.25 (PR) - 947 points
1. Shot Put - 14.51m/47-7.25 (PR) - 760 points
6. High Jump - 1.93m/6-4 - 740 points
7. 400m - 52.03 - 723 points
7. Auston Chen - 3,819 points
1. 100m - 10.91 - 881 points
3. Long Jump - 7.34m/24-1 (PR) - 896 points
2. Shot Put - 13.55m/44-5.5 - 701 points
7. High Jump - 1.66m/5-5.25 - 512 points
2. 400m - 49.68 (PR) - 829 points