FAYETTEVILLE – Kevin Lazas, a freshman for the No. 3 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team, set an American junior record with his 5,674 points scored in the heptathlon at the 2011 SEC Indoor Championships. The previous record of 5,478 points was set by Mike Morrison while competing for the University of Florida during the 2007 indoor season.
"What a great effort (Lazas) had for us," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "I’ve said it all season but he is part of that younger group of guys on our team that brings so much energy to the track. He turned that energy into a very good performance in the heptathlon."
Lazas turned in a second-place performance in his first SEC Championships appearance. Along the way, he notched collegiate bests in six of the seven events. In addition to the junior national record, Lazas’ point total is an improvement on his own school record which previously stood at 5,509 points, set earlier this season at the Razorback Invitational. With 5,674 points, Lazas ranks 14th overall in the NCAA and third among the nation’s freshmen in the heptathlon.
In the first event of the two-day competition, Lazas clocked a 7.11 in the 60 meters and picked up 844 points. He followed with a 23-7.25 mark in the long jump, good for 859 points, and a 6-6.75 performance in the high jump, good for 803 points. Lazas closed out day one with a toss of 43-4.25 in the shot put which went for 680 points. At the end of four events, the Razorback freshman was second with 3,186 points.
Lazas ran to a time 8.68 in the 60-meter hurdles to open the second day of competition. His effort in the event was good for 818 points. In the pole vault, he cleared 16-0.75 and collected 880 points. Lazas closed out the heptathlon with a time of 2:47.71 in the 1,000 meters and 790 points.
He was the SEC Championships runner-up, leading a 2-4-7 effort for the Razorbacks followed by teammates Terry Prentice and Matt Kirbos, respectively. Arkansas picked up 15 points from the heptathlon and finished the conference meet with a second-place finish and 136.5 points, the highest non-winning total in SEC Championships history.
The Razorbacks returns to action Friday, March 4, for the Arkansas Last Chance at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The field competition gets under way at noon (CT) with the shot put while the running events start at 5 p.m. with the 60-meter hurdles. The meet will serve as the team’s final preparation for the NCAA Championships, held March 11-12 in College Station, Texas. For home meet information and meet-day coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.