FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Josphat Boit captured his second-consecutive 10,000-meter conference outdoor crown and the Razorbacks racked up 32 points to take the team lead on Friday at the 2006 Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships at John McDonnell Field.
With its outburst in the 10K, Arkansas stormed into the team lead after two days of competition with a total of 36 points. Senior Jimmy Duke got the Razorbacks on the board initially with four points for a fifth-place finish in the decathlon before Boit and the Razorback pack netted 32 in the final event of the net. Tennessee is second in the team race with 23 points while LSU is in third with 16 points after three events.
“In my wildest dreams I imagined 30 points and I would have been happy with 28 (points),” Arkansas head track and field coach John McDonnell said. “To have all six of them place, that was just great teamwork. Those kids they run the line. That is important for the team. A good performance like that is going to get some of the other guys fired up and get them to realize we have a chance. It was essential (to score big) if we were going to have a chance on Saturday and Sunday.”
Led by Boit’s victory, the Hogs remarkably captured six of the eight scoring places including first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. Boit defended his 10K crown crossing the line in a winning time of 29:01.83. Arkansas has now won the 10,000-meter run 14 times in 15 conference meets since joining the SEC in time for the 1991-92 season.
Rodrigues tallied eight points with a second-place finish. The South African improved his NCAA provisional time with a clip of 29:04.26. Sophomore Shawn Forrest picked up another NCAA provisional qualifying time for the Razorbacks with a time of 29:12.20. He tallied five points with his fourth-place finish.
Senior Josh Robles turned in one of the pleasant surprises of the night for the Razorbacks crossing the finish line in fifth place. Robles broke away from a secondary pack of runners to net four points for the UA cause. Sophomore Jonathan Norris and senior Luis Bordes closed out the Razorback onslaught. Norris (30:13.62) garnered two points for sixth while Bordes (30:16.66) rallied for a seventh-place finish.
Duke dented the scoreboard first for the Hogs with a fifth-place showing in the decathlon. Duke was in seventh entering the second day of competition, but rallied to garner five points and move up two spots in the final standings. Despite suffering from a pulled muscle in his left foot for most of the outdoor season, Duke held steady to give the Razorbacks some valuable team points.
The Ballwin, Mo., native earned 674 points with an eighth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles. Duke timed in at 16.53. He followed it up with a fourth-place showing in the discus. He tallied 581 points with a throw of 117-8.
Duke tied for fifth in the pole vault with a clearance of 15-1 to net 790 points. He added another 578 points with a throw of 161-7 in the javelin. Duke finished off the decathlon with an eighth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run in a time of 4:59.49. His 563 points in that event gave him his final total of 6,557 points.
Earlier in the evening, Arkansas secured a finalist in the 800-meter dash and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. Brian Roe advanced to Sunday’s final in the 800 meters. Roe finished second in his heat and automatically advanced with a time of 1:50.60. The West Plains, Mo., native recorded the fifth-fastest qualifying time of the preliminary round. Freshman Daniel LaCava finished sixth in his heat of the 800 and didn’t advance to the event final. LaCava crossed the line in a time of 1:53.49.
Senior Brad Dittoe earned a spot in the 400 intermediate hurdles. Dittoe secured the final qualifying spot with a time of 52.21. Senior David Wittenmyer failed to advance to the final after a posting a time of 53.06.
The Razorbacks came up empty on qualifiers in the 200-meter dash. Freshman J-Mee Samuels got off to a fast start in the 200-meter dash, but pulled up after 90 meters after cramping. Samuels was leading the race at the time he was sidelined. Freshmen Jeremy Dodson (21.84) and Cedric Zellner (22.28) also missed on advancing to the nine-man final on Sunday.