FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Track Hogs added four more NCAA provisional marks, coupled with numerous PRs, to its list on day two of the Razorback Invitational at the Tyson Track Center. Arkansas totaled eight provisional marks during the two-day event.
“We basically met every goal we were shooting for this weekend,” head coach John McDonnell said. “Some of the NCAA automatic qualifying times are so hard to get without any competition. In most of the races we had to push the pace ourselves. It’s tough to do. Once we have some good competition we’ll have a lot of guys hit the automatic-qualifying mark.”
Scott MacPherson won the championship heat of the 3,000 meters after battling ferociously during the final 400 meters. Peter Kosgei, running unattached, paced the race before stepping off the track with 800 meters to go. Orey Smith, another unattached runner, took over pacing and was quickly passed by MacPherson.
“Scott ran a really gutsy race,” McDonnell said. “He beat some very good people. Scott is a better 5,000-meter run and it suits his running style better too.”
MacPherson crossed the line in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 8:03.12, also a personal best. His time currently sits at No. 3 on the national list and ranks first in the conference.
“I knew it was a slow race and runners were going to have a lot left at the end,” MacPherson said. “It’s a good race to be in when you feel good. I felt good and I had a lot of guys helping me. Peter (Kosgei) and the Alabama guys took out the race and Orey (Smith) really helped a lot. It’s a good starting point. It was a good first 3K race of the season.”
After pacing the DMR to a win on Friday night, Daniel LaCava earned a runner-up finish in the mile with a time of 4:03.83, a personal best. Battling from the middle of the pack, LaCava steadily picked off runners to finish second and earn an NCAA provisional-qualifying time.
“I ran as hard as I could,” LaCava said. “I’m not disappointed. I gave it all I have today. This weekend was a moderate success. We ran well in the DMR but we didn’t get the automatic time. I ran well and placed second in the mile but I didn’t get an automatic qualifier. I feel like I’m in shape to get the auto mark if things line up the right way.”
J-Mee Samuels, in his first meet of the season, clocked an NCAA provisional-qualifying 6.74 in the finals of the 60-meter dash. He finished fourth overall. He advanced to finals by running a 6.76 in the prelims, good for a sixth-place finish. Mychael Stewart finished 14th overall in the 60-meter prelims (6.88) and advanced to the consolation finals.
“I think both races went really well today,” Samuels said. “I made some mistakes in the prelims that I tried to correct in the finals. Sometimes it’s too late to make corrections but I ran the best race I could run. I was expecting a time closer to my PR 6.69 but I’m satisfied because it’s still my first meet.”
Nkosinza Balumbu finished third in the triple jump. He improved his provisional-qualifying mark to 52-1, replacing his previous season best of 51-5.5. His new distance ranks fourth nationally and first in the SEC by two feet. Daniel Quinn finished sixth in the triple jump with a personal-best 50-4.5, good for No. 2 in the SEC rankings. Quinn set a new personal best and a provisional mark in the long jump Friday night (25-0).
Arkansas had five competitors in the championship heats of the 800 meters. Andy McClary finished fourth overall with a time of 1:50.79. Alex McClary was fifth, clocking a 1:50.83. Chris Bilbrew finished eighth with a time of 1:51.08. Michael Chinchar was 12th (1:53.55) and Duncan Phillips was 14th (1:54.89).
Rio Reina won his heat of the mile and finished eighth overall with a time of 4:13.46. The time is a personal best by almost six seconds and is the second PR he has clocked this season.
The Razorbacks will make their first trip of the season when they travel to New York City for the New Balance Collegiate Invite, Feb. 8-9, at the Armory Track Center. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Arkansas track and field.
Download: RBack complete results.pdf