Carroll and Smith Earn Provisional Marks at SE
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Ahmad “Batman” Carroll and junior Richard Smith turned in Arkansas’ first two NCAA qualifying performances of the outdoor season on Saturday afternoon at the Southeastern Conference Quadrangular Meet in Starkville, Miss.
Carroll finished third in the 100-meter dash, but his time of 10.34 was good enough to provisionally qualify for the NCAA outdoor championships. The Atlanta, Ga., native is in his first year of collegiate competition after a heralded prep career at Douglass High School. Prior to Saturday’s split, Carroll’s career best time in the 100-meter dash was 10.38 in capturing an AAU national championship.
Smith took top honors in the long jump and provisionally qualified with a leap of 25-2.50. The Razorback two-sport star also garnered a second-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 47-11.75. Early qualifications for the Razorback pair may prove beneficial as both Smith and Carroll are expected to spend time with both outdoor track and spring football in the coming weeks.
In Saturday’s league mandated team competition, Arkansas finished fourth with 110 points. The Razorbacks didn’t field a full squad and left many of their top contenders at home for some much needed rest.
The Hogs finished fourth at last weekend’s NCAA Indoor Championships, but were required like other SEC schools to participate in an outdoor meet against league members just a week after the completion of the indoor season.
Mississippi State and Alabama tied for first in the team competition with 177 points while Ole Miss placed third with 132 points.
Arkansas boasted a total of seven event winners on the afternoon. Senior Andrew Beasley won the 800 meters in a time of 1:55.29. Sophomore Westley Alkin (3:56.84) topped the field in the 1,500-meter run while junior Patrick Thomas (8:38.26) took the tape in the 3,000-meter run.
Junior Eddie Jackson just missed a provisional qualifying time in the 110-meter hurdles. Jackson’s time of 13.91 was good enough to take first-place honors. Senior Sam Glover gave Arkansas a clean sweep in the hurdle events by winning the 400-meter hurdles in a 51.66 clip.
The Razorbacks’ other win came in the shot put. Freshman Jonathan Reeves won the event with a throw of 53-6.50.
Arkansas will take a few weeks off before gearing up for the bulk of the outdoor season. The Hogs will send a contingent of distance runners to the Stanford Invitational at the end of the month before fielding a full squad at the Texas Relays on April 5-6 in Austin, Texas.
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