FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In a fashion characteristic of the past years, the defending national and Southeastern Conference champion Arkansas Razorbacks will go into the second day of the SEC Championships in the lead by six points.
The Hogs scored 37 points in the first day of placing them in a six-point lead over Louisiana State, which scored 31. Tennessee is in third with 18 points. Finishing in fourth is Alabama with 17. Here is how the rest of the SEC finished the first round: t5. Mississippi (12.50); t5. Florida (12.50); t5. Georgia (12.50); 8. Kentucky (7); 9. Auburn (5); 10. South Carolina (3.50).
“We’re exactly where we want to be,” head coach John McDonnell said. “We fell off a little in the long jump, but we picked it up some in the 3,000 (meters). Everything is there, we just have to come out tomorrow and execute. Just having the guys in there is not enough. The fans were great, especially in the 3,000. Calling the Hogs really gets us pumped up.”
Arkansas began the meet with a 14-point display by the shot put duo of Marcus Clavelle and John Cross. Clavelle, a 1998 All-American, won the shot put event with a personal best throw of 64-01. This was his first SEC championship. Cross placed fifth with a throw of 55-10.25.
Melvin Lister placed fourth in the men’s long jump with a leap of 25-08.25 giving the Hogs five points. True freshman Ramon Washington placed eighth and claimed one point for Arkansas.
In the running events, Arkansas qualified 15 athletes for the finals Sunday. The Hogs have a total of 21 athletes in the final round.
Arkansas qualified three runners in the 60m hurdles, more than any other team. Sean Lightfoot led the way with a time of 7.93. Eddie Jackson and D’Marcus Brown also qualified.
The 400m dash has two Razorbacks represented. Samuel Glover and Kevin Baker qualified for Sunday’s finals. The Hogs qualified four people in the 800m run in the preliminaries Saturday. James Karanu, Ryan Stanley, Nathan Knowles and Joseph Vaughn will run in the finals.
The preliminaries of the mile are going to be spotted by the Hogs. Three Razorbacks, Ryan Travis, Sharif Karie, and Murray Link qualified in separate heats for the finals Sunday.
The finals of the 3000m were a big pick up for the Razorbacks, as they were able to win 17 points.
Sunday’s final round will feature four Razorbacks in the triple jump, two in the high jump and the 1600m relay and distance medley relay.
The meet will begin at 11 a.m. with the men’s high jump and the women’s shot put.