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Batchelor jumps to NCAA auto qualifier

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Batchelor jumps to NCAA auto qualifier

FAYETTEVILLE – In his fourth attempt of the season, Tarik Batchelor secured a spot at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a mark of 54-2.75 in the triple jump Friday at the Arkansas Invitational. The jump is also a personal best for the Batchelor, surpassing his previous best of 52-7.5 set last season at the SEC Championships. The Razorbacks finished the meet with three event wins.

"Tarik’s jump showcases the kind of talent he has in that event," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "I know that (assistant coach) Travis Geopfert has been working hard with Tarik this year to be a complete jumper so he’s obviously off to a great start."

Dey Tuach earned Arkansas’ first event win of the day when he crossed first in the 1,000 meters. He passed Silas Kisorio on the final stretch to finish in a time of 2:22.42. Omar Abdi, the Razorbacks’ other representative in the race, clocked in at 2:26.94 and finished fourth.

The team’s second individual victory came from Leoman Momoh in the 800 meters. He finished in a time of 1:55.85 to pace Arkansas’ 1-3-5 showing in the event. Jordan Bryant made his Razorback debut with a third-place finish and Ben Skidmore rounded out the group in fifth.

"Our main goal today was to get our feet wet and get back into the track mode," Bucknam said. "Some of these guys have been on the track in a competitive atmosphere since the SEC and NCAA meets last year so we were looking for guys to get back into a groove to prepare ourselves for the rest of the season."

Battling for second-place in the 60-meter hurdles, Andrew Pennington finished just ahead of teammate Terry Prentice with a time of 8:40. Prentice was third with his 8.41 clocking.

In the first event of the day, Kevin Lazas turned in a second-place result in the shot put. His best throw of the day was 42-0 which came on his first attempt. Prentice was fourth with a personal-best mark of 40-3.5, more than a foot longer than his previous best. Lazas had his second runner-up finish of the day with a 15-7 performance in the pole vault. Three competitors finished with that clearance and places were determined by misses.

Travis Southard made his indoor debut for the Razorbacks with a third-place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 48.92. In the 600 meters, Duncan Phillips and Drew Butler finished in second- and third-place, respectively. Phillips crossed in a time of 1:20.42 while Butler clocked in at 1:20.56. Off a redshirt season in 2010, Marek Niit returned to the track with a fifth-place finish in the event.

Another newcomer made beganhis career with Arkansas as Dwayne Golbek competed in the high jump.He posted a second-place finish with a clearance of 6-8.75.

In the final event of the day, the ‘A’ 4×400-meter relay team of Skidmore, Southard, Chris Bilbrew and Niit ran to a time of 3:14.30 for a second-place showing. The foursome of Pennington, Hunter Bourke, Momoh and LaShawn Butler, Arkansas’ ‘B’ relay, pulled in at 3:22.69.

In preparation for future heptathlon competitions during the indoor season, Lazas and Prentice competed in three events Friday with additional work in the 4×400-meter relay.

The Razorback men return to action Friday, Jan. 14, when they face the University of Texas in a dual meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The weight throw competition will be held at Walker Pavilion with a 3 p.m. (CT) start. Competition at the Tyson Center begins at 5:30 p.m. For more information about Arkansas’ home meets, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Download: Arkansas Invitational, finals results.pdf



Sports Category : Track & Field (M)