FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Alain Bailey won the long jump and the distance harriers picked up 13 points in the steeplechase for Arkansas Razorback track and field at the SEC Championships at Auburn University.
The Razorbacks lead the team race with 45 points through six events scored. Auburn is second with 39 points and Alabama is third with 28 points. Arkansas also picked up four more qualifiers for Sunday’s finals, in addition to the two they picked up Friday night.
“I was really happy with that steeplechase race,” head coach John McDonnell said. “Peter did a great job after running that 10K last night. We had a good day. We qualified pretty well and we’ve done everything we were supposed to do up to this point. We had a slight set back in the long jump but those things happen. We are still okay for points because we got more in the 10K and the steeplechase than we thought we would.”
All it took was three jumps for Bailey, the 2008 SEC Indoor Champion, to lock up the outdoor title for his resume. Marking a leap of 25-2.5 on his first attempt, he bettered his initial jump and personal best when he leaped 26-0.75 on his next attempt. He unnecessarily took his third prelim jump and marked a 25-3.75. He didn’t need to take any of his three final jumps
“Now I know the feeling of a 26-foot jump and it’s great,” Bailey said. “I wanted the win and I wanted 10 points for the team. That was the goal, to take as few jumps as possible. I still have to high jump tomorrow so I need all my strength for that.”
Peter Kosgei and Scott MacPherson had big plans heading into the 3,000-meter steeplechase and their plan worked. Finishing second and fourth, respectively, they earned 13 points for the team total. Kosgei, recovering nicely from last night’s 10K, clocked a time of 8:43.02 while MacPherson ran for a time of 8:48.35, also a personal best.
Mychael Stewart finished sixth in the long jump. His first of four events this weekend, he marked a jump of 24-2.25. Daniel Quinn fouled two of his first prelim jumps and, trying to be extra cautious on his third attempt, he only managed a jump of 22-7.75 which did not advance him to the finals.
Arkansas advanced three harriers to the finals of the 1,500 meters. Andy McClary led the way with a heat win and the second-best finish overall (3:50.47). Duncan Phillips finished seventh overall and automatically advanced to the finals with a top-four finish in his heat (3:45.86). Daniel LaCava advanced on time after finishing fifth in his heat and ninth overall. He ran a 3:46.54.
“I felt really relaxed out there,” McClary said. “This was a race I could control. I saw how the first heat went and I knew what I had to do to advance. Every time someone made a move, I felt I could go with them and dictate when guys made their moves.”
In addition to his 4×100-meter relay and 200-meter final duties on Sunday, J-Mee Samuels also qualified for the finals of the 100 meters. He is the ninth qualifier with a time of 10.36.
For a complete recap and results of the SEC Championships, visit www.hogwired.com.