FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s track and field team collected a handful of conference honors Tuesday with the release of the 2011 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Awards from the league office. Head coach Chris Bucknam was named the Men’s Coach of the Year to headline the list of honors for the team. Overall, 10 Razorbacks earned All-SEC honors, including first-team performers Marek Niit and Dorian Ulrey.
The recognition for Bucknam is the second outdoor honor for the Razorbacks’ head coach. He was also selected after Arkansas’ 2009 SEC team title. At this year’s event, the Razorbacks collected 157.50 points to capture the program’s 16th SEC outdoor title. With this most recent honor, Bucknam has five SEC coaching accolades to his credit-two outdoor (2009, 2011), two indoor (2009, 2010) and one cross country (2010).
Niit won the 200 meters at the conference meet, while Ulrey was a double winner in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters. Niit was also part of Arkansas’ runner-up 4×100 relay and finished fifth in the 100 meters. In addition to his double victory, Ulrey returned to the track for a fourth-place showing in the 5,000 meters. The Razorback senior earned the Commissioner’s Trophy as the top male scorer with 25 points at the conference meet.
Second-team honors, given to runner-up performers at the conference meet, went to Duncan Phillips (800/1,500 meters), Eric Fernandez (5,000/10,000 meters), Tarik Batchelor (long jump), Kevin Lazas (decathlon) and 4×100-relay members Caleb Cross, Neil Braddy and LaShawn Butler.
Lazas and Raymond Higgs were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team as the top freshman performers in their respective events. Lazas finished second in the decathlon while Higgs finished third in the long jump.
The 2011 SEC Championships, which were held May 12-15 at Spec Towns Track in Athens, Ga., will be televised via tape-delay broadcast May 25 at 7 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU. The Razorbacks are in action this weekend at the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. For more information and continued meet-day coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
All-SEC First Team (Arkansas only)Marek Niit, 200 metersDorian Ulrey, 800/1,500 meters
All-SEC Second Team (Arkansas only)Duncan Phillips, 800/1,500 metersEric Fernandez, 5,000/10,000 metersCaleb Cross, 4×100 relayNeil Braddy, 4×100 relayLaShawn Butler, 4×100 relayTarik Batchelor, long jumpKevin Lazas, decathlon
All-Freshman Team (Arkansas only)Raymond Higgs, long jumpKevin Lazas, decathlon
2011 SEC Outdoor Track and Field AwardsMen’s Runner of the Year: Kirani James, AlabamaMen’s Field Athlete of the Year: Will Claye, FloridaMen’s Freshman Runner of the Year: Dentarius Locke, TennesseeMen’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Stephen Saenz, AuburnMen’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Lee Ellis Moore, Ole MissMen’s Coach of the Year: Chris Bucknam, ArkansasCommissioner’s Trophy: Dorian Ulrey, Arkansas