BATON ROUGE, La. – Arkansas began to lay the foundation for its ninth Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track Championship Friday with Adam Dailey defending his 1999 10,000-meter run title, qualifying five runners for finals in different events and junior Enrico Gordon placing seventh in the decathlon.
“We did good today,” head coach John McDonnell said. “We have two in the 800 and that is what we figured. We have three in the finals of the intermediate hurdles, and Enrico (Gordon) is just icing on the cake.”
Dailey, a senior, earned the first 10 points for the Hogs with his performance in the 10k.
A race that lasted 30 minutes, Dailey bided his time in fifth place for the first two miles of the race. In the middle of ninth lap he began to pull away from the pack while a runner from Louisiana State began to run with him.
With six laps to go, Dailey began to run away from the LSU competitor opening up a 100-meter gap before crossing the line for the victory.
“Coach (McDonnell) said to go out there and feel it out and no matter what come back with the win,” Dailey said. “Usually in conference we are trying to qualify for nationals and not having that worry made it a lot easier.
“We went real slow in the first two miles” Dailey continues. “It is great to accomplishment to win back-to-back conference titles. Not too many people from Arkansas has done that.”
McDonnell was equally impressed with Dailey’s performance.
“He ran a great race,” McDonnell said. “He took over the race with about six laps to go. Adam winning the 10,000 is big, and for going to nationals it is good for his confidence to be able to win.”
Arkansas also scored two points in the decathlon, with their first athlete since 1998. Gordon scored 7,047 points in the decathlon with personal bests in the high jump at six feet eight inches, running a 10.88 second 100-meter dash, and throwing the javelin 195 feet eight inches.
“We really were not counting on him for points, because he had never competed in the decathlon,” McDonnell said. “But what he did was a great job and a very good surprise.”
Sunday, the day when all the race finals will be ran, will be big day for the Hogs already having two in the 800-meter dash and three in the 400-meter hurdles.
James Karanu won his heat and ran the second fastest qualifying time at 1:49.20 a spot in the finals.
“I just wanted to qualify for the finals,” Karanu said. “I didn’t want to give all of my energy out there. I felt really comfortable.”
Ryan Stanley placed in a very close second in his heat of the 800-meters in a time of 1:48.88.
Arkansas will also be well represented in the 400-meter hurdles. Sam Glover, D’Marcus Brown and Dale Lusby advanced to the finals. Lusby, who finished third in his heat, qualified for his first finals of a meet this season.
“It was really good accomplishment for Dale,” Silvey said. “To make to the finals of the conference championships as a sophomore says that he has made a steady progression with his blue collar work ethic over the last couple of years.”
The Hogs will continue competition Saturday evening with the long jump.