AUSTIN, Texas – Arkansas came away with another first-place trophy at the Texas Relays when senior All-American Eric Brown successfully defended his javelin title with a career-best season opening throw of 245-10. Brown was strong and consistent as he registered regional qualifications on all six of his attempts, but his winning mark came on his fifth try. At last year’s meet Brown won with a toss of 236-10, becoming the first Razorback to win the event at the Texas Relays.
Brown’s performance on Saturday moved him into the top spot on the NCAA’s descending order list as he finished ahead of North Carolina’s Justin Ryncavage (239-05). Ryncavage had been holding down the nation’s top throw with a 236-11.
“I was very excited to finally open the season, because it’s been hard watching the team compete while I was still working out,” Brown said. “I was hoping to PR today, but the conditions weren’t ideal with the wind. This is my favorite place to throw, so overall I was happy with what happened.”
As Brown was competing in the javelin UA sent its distance medley relay team to the track. Senior Seth Summerside, who was a member of Arkansas’ winning 4×1,500-meter relay team last night, ran the opening 1,200-meter leg. He was with the front of the pack until the final lap when he faded badly and fell to eighth place.
Senior David Wittenmyer took the stick for the 400-meter portion, but was unable to gain new ground as he handed off to junior Brian Roe. Roe improved the Hogs’ position to sixth place as he passed the baton to senior Josphat Boit.
Boit was coming off a fantastic anchor leg performance from last night, but was unable to come through once more. He pulled the team back into the mix and came from 25 meters behind to finish in third place. UA’s final time was 9:50.95, while Texas came away with the victory in a clocking of 9:48.56.
“We didn’t run very smart,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “Seth’s leg hurt us and after that we had to play catch up. We can’t expect Josphat (Boit) to do it all and Texas’ Leonel Manzano had a good lead going into the last leg.
“Taking into account that we haven’t done much speed work and this is our first meet of the season I would say we did ok,” McDonnell said. “At least we’ll have two wins for the weekend, but I was hoping to have three.”
Arkansas picked up an additional regional qualification in the high jump. It was the final event of the day for UA as junior Greg Martin posted a clearance of 6-10.75.
The Mt. SAC Relays are next on the schedule for second-ranked Arkansas. The Razorbacks will travel to Walnut, Calif., for the distance festival on April 13-15.