DMR Finishes in Close Second at Penn Relays
BY ANDRES FOCIL
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – At the 109th Penn Relays Arkansas’ distance medley relay team was the heavy favorite coming into the event as they were set to defend their title at Franklin Field, but was outrun in the final stretch by Michigan (9:32.65) and came in a close second place with a time of 9:32.87.
“It’s definitely an upset, but those things happen,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “Michigan ran a great race, but it’s no excuse. We’ve haven’t started our speed work, because of the new format for the longer outdoor season. We’re trying to save it for nationals, not that Penn Relays isn’t important. Daniel and Alistair haven’t been on the track at all, so when they start the speed work, no one will be able to out kick them.”
Senior Daniel Lincoln ran the first leg and posted a split of 2:51.8 after leading the pack, and then falling to fourth place. Junior Robbie Stevens took the baton and powered around the track in the 400-meter portion. Stevens pulled the group to second with a 45.3 split and handed off to sophomore Michael Taylor for the 800 leg of the relay. Taylor took the lead ahead of Florida and Michigan with a time of 1:48.0. Junior Alistair Cragg ran the anchor leg while controlling the lead with a split of 4:07.8, but with 200 meters left Michigan’s Nathan Brennan came from behind and out kicked the three-time NCAA champion in the last 50 meters for the title.
In the long jump junior Ramon Washington had a good showing as he finished second with a mark of 25-5.25. Senior Richard Smith also competed in the event and put up a 24-7.25 for fifth place. In a different section sophomore transfer Jaanus Uudmae posted a mark of 23-11.00 for sixth place.
Sophomore Ahmad Carroll barely advanced to the nine-man finals in the 100-meter dash after finishing third in his heat with a time of 10.52. Junior Michael Thomas was also able to advance to the finals in the 110-meter hurdles when he came in third in his heat with a time of 13.91. Both will compete tomorrow afternoon.
The sprint medley relay wrapped up the day for the Razorbacks when they finished in third place, behind the winner, Tennessee, and defending champion South Carolina with a time of 3:20.91. Their time put them at 10th on UA’s all-time outdoor top 10 list.
Carroll ran the first 200-meter leg with a split time of 21.65 and handed off to Thomas who ran the second 200-meter portion in 21.47. The Hogs were in the middle of the pack as Thomas passed the baton to Stevens who brought the team into third with a 400-meter split of 45.04. Sophomore James Hatch maintained the third place position as he ran the 800-meter anchor leg in 1:52.63.
Saturday the Hogs will try to defend their 4xmile relay title and capture only their second 4×800-meter relay crown since competing at the Penn Relays. The 400-meter hurdles will also take place with four Razorbacks in the race. In field events action the javelin throw and the triple jump will begin at 12:30 and 2:45 p.m., respectively. NBC will televise the Penn Relays from 3:30-5 p.m. CT.
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