Daniel Lincoln Wins Commissioner’s Trophy, Hog
BY ANDRES FOCIL
COLUMBIA, S.C. – In a weekend where Razorback streaks in the Southeastern Conference championship track meet were broken, the University of Arkansas track and field squad finished third breaking a nine-time team title streak for the Razorbacks at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships at Weems Baskin Field in Columbia, S.C.
Sophomore Daniel Lincoln won the 2001 Commissioner’s Trophy scoring 26 points for the Razorbacks in the four-day meet. Lincoln won the steeplechase title and finished second in the 5,000-meter run and 10,000-meter run. Lincoln and senior Kenny Evans were the only individual conference champions for the Hogs.
The Razorbacks were in second going into the final event of the night but without a 4×400-meter relay team, the Florida Gators leapfrogged the Razorbacks. University of Tennessee took the team title scoring 153 points with Florida in second in 107.50 and Arkansas third in 104. The Volunteers were the last team to beat the Razorbacks in a conference meet when they took the 1996 indoor conference meet in Lexington, Ky.
For the first time since the Razorbacks first competed in the SEC outdoor championships in 1991, the Hogs did not take the outdoor conference title. The Hogs had won the previous 15 SEC titles.
The Hogs gained their only individual champion of the day and second of the meet when Kenny Evans took his sixth SEC title in the high jump. Evans and Florida’s Matt Vincent both cleared at 7-4.50 on their first attempt. The bar was then moved to 7-5.75 where they both missed all three attempts. In the jump off, both missed at the first height of 7-5.75 before the bar was dropped to 7-4.50. Vincent missed putting the pressure on the Evans to clear, which he did on his first attempt. Evans added ten points for the Razorbacks but in the end would not be enough to get the Hogs the title.
“We have had a rough year with injuries and being a really young squad,” Evans said. “I just wanted to come in and take care of business on my part. I really wanted to win the event since it was my last SEC’s to compete in. Hopefully, these guys will learn from the experience.”
The Hogs started the day in first place with 49 points knowing it would be a battle to the end with Tennessee and their incredible depth in the sprints. Without Dirk Heinze who would have scored points in the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters for the Razorbacks, the Hogs needed to gain points in the distance events and the high jump.
In the triple jump, the Hogs scored three points with a seventh place finish by Maurice Robinson jumping 50-7.25 and Richard Smith jumping 50-3.50 finishing eighth. Lavar Miller finished ninth with his jump of 50-1.25 and pulled his groin muscle not allowing him to take his fifth jump and knocking him out of the high jump competition later that day. After nine events, the Razorbacks dropped to fourth and trailed the Volunteers by 4.5 points.
The Hog 4×100-meter relay team then took a fifth-place finish to add another four points for the Razorbacks. Michael Thomas ran the opening leg handing off to Chandun O’Neal. Maurice Robinson ran the third leg with Sam Glover running the anchor leg.
Ryan Travis finished third in the 1,500-meter run in 3:50.41 giving the Hogs another six points. The Hogs still trailed Tennessee by 4.5 points but the Hogs had moved into second place.
Lloyd Meeks added another two points for the Razorbacks with a seventh-place finish in the discus throw with a toss of 162-9.00.
With three Hogs in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles, the Razorbacks scored 11 points. Eddie Jackson took third in 13.83, Sam Glover took sixth in 14.10 and Michael Thomas in seventh with 14.12 With a fourth and fifth place finish in the 110-meter hurdles, the Volunteers now led by 11.50 points over the Hogs.
Glover strained his hamstring in the 4×100-meter relay and still competed in the 110-meter hurdles but could not defend his 400-meter hurdle title.
In the 800-meter run, Andrew Beasley finished seventh in 1:49.85 and Frans Schimper finished ninth in 1:54.24.
Going into 5,000-meter run, the Hogs were in third place with 87 points and trailed Tennessee at 147 and Florida at 102.50. The Hogs finished second, fourth and fifth in the race to move the Razorbacks into second place with 104 points. Lincoln finished second in 13:58.37, Sharif Karie finished fourth in 14:02.20 and Murray Link finished fifth in 14:15.54. Phil Yoder finished ninth in 14:38.56 and Fernando Cabada finished 16th in 15:22.10.
The Hogs’ four automatic qualifiers and their provisional qualifiers will now look to the NCAA Championships, May 30-June 2, in Eugene, Ore.
TEAM SCORES FOR MEN
1. Tennessee, 153
2. Florida, 107.50
3. Arkansas, 104
4. Alabama, 91.50
5. Georgia, 78
6. LSU, 77.50
7. Auburn, 71
8. South Carolina, 68
9. Kentucky, 28
10. Mississippi State, 19.50
11. Ole Miss, 18
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