FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Southeastern Conference office released its track and field post-season awards on Monday and Razorback men’s track and field picked up four of the six honors awarded.
Head coach Chris Bucknam has been named the SEC Coach of the Year. Bucknam, in his first year as Head Hog, led the Razorbacks to their 93rd conference title overall (cross country, indoor and outdoor), their 24th conference outdoor title and their 15th SEC outdoor title. The Hogs outscored No. 2 Florida, 141-129, in Gainesville.
At the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships, Arkansas student-athletes picked up six individual titles: Alain Bailey (high jump and long jump), Shawn Forrest (5,000 meters), Scott MacPherson (3,000-meter steeplechase), Alex McClary (800 meters) and Dorian Ulrey (1,500 meters). The Razorbacks added to their winning point total with two runner-up finishes from seniors Nkosinza Balumbu (triple jump) and Andy McClary (1,500 meters).
Bucknam swept the 2009 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year awards. Since joining the SEC in 1992, the Razorbacks have the only two coaches–Bucknam and John McDonnell–to earn top coaching honors during their respective first seasons in the league. Bucknam also joins McDonnell as the only head coach, since 1992, to sweep the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year honors in the same season.
Junior Alain Bailey has been named the SEC Field Athlete of the Year. Bailey is the first Razorback to earn the honor. Bailey is the first Razorback field athlete recognized by the SEC since the former Athlete of the Year honor was split into separate runner and field awards in 2004.
The 2009 SEC Outdoor Champion in the high jump and long jump, he won his third SEC long jump title, second-straight outdoors, and his first SEC high jump title. Bailey was the only male competitor at the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships to win two individual events and he finished third in the Commissioner’s Trophy race with 20 points
Bailey is the first SEC competitor to win both the high jump and the long jump at the same outdoor championships since Florida’s Michael Morrison in 2006 and is the first Hog to ever win both the high jump and the long jump in SEC Outdoor competition.
Bailey has never finished lower than second in an SEC Championship long jump event, indoors and out, and he picked up his sixth and seventh All-SEC honors with his two wins in Gainesville.
Tarik Batchelor has been named the SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year after finishing fifth in the long jump and third in the triple jump at the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships. Batchelor was the top freshman finisher in both events. Batchelor has never finished lower than fifth in an SEC Championships event, indoors and out.
Batchelor is the first Razorback to win the award since Arkansas senior Nkosinza Balumbu swept the 2006 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year awards.
His season- and personal-best long jump of 25-6.75 ranks No. 3 in the SEC, first among frosh, and No. 11 in the NCAA, first among frosh. His season- and personal-best triple jump of 51-2.75 ranks No. 4 in the SEC, second among frosh, and No. 33 in the NCAA, fifth among frosh.
Junior Dorian Ulrey has been named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award is based on indoor and outdoor competition. Ulrey is the first Razorback win the award since jumper Jaanus Uudmae in 2005.
Ulrey, in his first season with the Hogs and competing in the SEC, picked up three SEC titles in 2009: the mile and 3,000 meters indoors and the 1,500 meters outdoors. He was also a three-time NCAA Indoor All-American (mile, 3,000 meters, distance medley relay).
Ulrey is the first student-athlete to sweep the SEC mile/1,500-meter titles in the same season since Alabama’s David Kimani in 2001 and the first Hog to do it since Ryan Wilson in 1996.
Indoors, he clocked the NCAA’s No. 3 mile time and No. 4 3K time. His season bests in both events led the SEC. He was also a member of the NCAA- and SEC-leading and school-record setting DMR (9:28.35) with a 3:54 mile split as the anchor.
His season- and personal-best 1,500-meter time of 3:41.39 leads the SEC and ranks No. 9 in the NCAA. His season- and personal-best 800-meter time of 1:48.46 ranks fourth in the SEC and 12th in the NCAA
Ulrey also earned a bronze finish in the 800 meters at the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships. He hasn’t finished lower than third in a race during the 2009 outdoor season. Additionally, he hasn’t finished lower than third in an SEC Championship race, indoors and out.
Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field will compete next at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, May 29-30, at the University of Louisville. For more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
SEC Men’s Runner of the Year: Calvin Smith, UF
SEC Men’s Field Athlete of the Year: Alain Bailey, ARK
SEC Men’s Freshman Runner of the Year: Marcus Rowland, AU
SEC Men’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Tarik Batchelor, ARK
SEC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Dorian Ulrey, ARK
SEC Men’s Coach of the Year: Chris Bucknam, ARK