PHILADELPHIA – The No. 15 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team began competition at the 117th Penn Relays during Thursday night’s distance carnival at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia. The Razorbacks were represented by Rick Elliott, Cameron Efurd and Layne Nixon in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Due to inclement weather earlier in the day, the day’s schedule was delayed approximately 90 minutes. The Razorbacks have two runners-Solomon Haile and Tom Cattin-Masson-entered in the championship section of the 5,000 meters and another runner-Michael Golden-schedule to compete in the championship section of the 10,000 meters. Those races were pushed back into Friday night’s schedule.
Elliott was the first Razorback on the track with the college section of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He led throughout the first four laps of the event but slipped back into the back and finished in 11th place. Elliott crossed in a time of 9:19.97 in his third Penn Relays appearance.
In the Olympic development section of the steeplechase, Efurd and Nixon finished 16th and 17th, respectively. Efurd, in his collegiate debut in the event, crossed in a time of 9:37.64, while Nixon posted a personal-best time of 9:40.29, shaving just over 15 seconds off his previous best of 9:55.31 set earlier this season at Texas Relays.
Earlier in the day, volunteer assistant Mat Clark, competing unattached, won the decathlon at Drake Relays with 7,500 points. The win is his second at Drake having also won the event in 2009. He entered day two in second place and moved into first after the javelin, the ninth event of the competition. Clark won the final two events-javelin and 1,500 meters-of the decathlon.
Competition at the 2011 Penn Relays continues Friday for the Razorbacks, including four-4×200, shuttle-hurdle, distance-medley and sprint-medley-of the team’s scheduled six relay entries. Field action is also set for the high jump, pole vault, discus and long jump. Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for continued coverage.