Arkansas Captures DMR Title at Penn Relays
BY ANDRES FOCIL
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For the 14th time in 20 years Arkansas captured the distance medley relay title at the Penn Relays. The Razorbacks finished first with a time of 9:31.21 in front of a crowd of over 39,000. They faced tough competition from Stanford, Wake Forrest and defending champion Villanova.
“When you come to the Penn Relays there are so many great teams and fans,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “The tradition is so rich and deep here. We’re pretty young, so I was surprised we were able to come away with a victory. I’m very pleased. We were right where we wanted to be throughout the entire race.”
Junior Daniel Lincoln started off the first leg of the race in the lead with a 2:52.10 split. He handed off to sophomore Robbie Stevens who powered around the track with a time of 47.2. Stevens passed the baton to sophomore Chris Mulvaney. He ran the 800-meter leg in 1:51.20. Sophomore Alistair Cragg took the anchor leg to pull the Razorbacks to victory with a 1,600-meter leg time of 4:00.50.
“The win as a team is really special in front of a big crowd like this,” Daniel Lincoln said. “The Penn crowd really appreciates good distance runners. It was a great experience.”
In the prelims of 110-meter hurdles junior Eddie Jackson and sophomore Michael Thomas represented Arkansas. Thomas improved on his previous provisional qualifying time of 13:74 from the McDonnell Invitational on April 13 and finished second in his heat with a time of 13:73. Jackson finished third in his heat with a time of 14:08. Both advanced to the finals and will compete on Saturday.
Arkansas had a fast team going into the sprint medley relay and finished fourth with a time of 3:17.99. All handoffs went well as Thomas ran the first 200-meter leg of the relay in 21.29. He handed off to senior Sam Glover who ran the next 200 meters in 20.80. Glover passed the baton to Stevens. He ran the 400-meter leg in a time of 46.96, pulling the Hogs closer to the front. Freshman Said Ahmed ran the 800-meter anchor leg in 1:48.10.
Two Razorbacks competed in field events. Freshman Jonathan Reeves finished second in the shot put with a throw of 56-1.75 and finished eighth (166-04) in the discus throw. Junior Richard Smith placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 24-5.00.
Late Thursday night Arkansas had four runners compete in the 10,000 meters. Freshman Jason Sandfort won the individual 10,000-meter title with a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 28:57.92. It was his first time to ever run in a 10,000-meter race and led almost the entire race. Junior Silverus Kimeli finished third with a time of 29:28.98, while sophomore Westley Alkin finished fifth with a time of 29:31.74. Freshman Luis Bordes ran unattached and finished fourth in the Olympic development section with a time of 30:39.31.
The Razorbacks will return to action at the Penn Relays on Saturday when events start with Glover and junior Josh Landreth in the 400-meter hurdles at 9:10 a.m. They will then wrap up relay events with Cragg, Lincoln, Mulvaney, and freshman Michael Taylor in the 4xmile.
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