Arkansas Sweeps Weekly SEC Award; Spearmon Gar
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A pair of Razorbacks swept the weekly Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Week awards after displaying solid performances at the Mt. SAC Relays in California over the weekend. Junior Eric Brown and sophomore Wallace Spearmon Jr., were named the SEC Field Athlete and Runner of the Week, respectively.
“It’s a nice honor for Wallace and Eric, ” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “Wallace had an outstanding performance and we’re hoping it only gets better from here. Eric keeps improving and has been very consistent against quality competition.”
Brown threw a season best 237-11 on his first attempt in the javelin and was the top collegiate finisher with a second place showing. Brown is leading the SEC and the NCAA Mideast Region with his measurement. It also marked the second-straight weekend that Brown was the top collegiate finisher at meets that included a field of top professionals.
In addition to the league accolade Spearmon continued to receive acclaim for his fantastic 200-meter performance when he was named the United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA) Athlete of the Week. This is the second time he has earned the two honors during his career at Arkansas.
Spearmon put up a world-leading and school record time of 19.97 as he finished in first place. The Fayetteville, Ark., native broke Tyson Gay’s record of 20.07 and beat a top-notch field that included Tennessee’s former NCAA champion Leonard Scott and Olympic gold-medalist Allen Johnson.
Besides the school record, Spearmon also set a Hilmer Lodge Stadium and Mt. SAC Relays record. Jamaica’s Chris Williams had held that spot with a time of 20.02 he recorded in 2000. Spearmon shattered his previous outdoor best time of 20.25 from the United States Olympic Trials and joined an elite list of collegians that have broken the 20-second barrier. He is now fifth on the all-time collegiate list and his name can be found among the likes of gold-medalist Justin Gatlin and world champion John Capel. Spearmon is only the 16th American to run under 20 seconds in the history of outdoor track.
This weekend Brown and Spearmon will compete on their home track at the John McDonnell Invitational on April 23. Brown will aim to improve his distance in the javelin, while Spearmon will handle the second leg of the 4×100-meter relay and have his choice between the 100 and 400-meter dashes.
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