FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field picked up three provisional qualifiers on day one of the Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center Friday night.
"We had a good start in the DMR tonight," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "That was Dorian’s first career 1,200-meter leg. It was great to see a freshman, Jake Stephens, running with those guys. He is coming off of ankle surgery that he had right before Christmas break. We had a few firsts tonight for the season, Bilbrew in the 800 meters and Duncan in the mile. We were running by ourselves so it was a good opener."
Arkansas debuted one version of its distance medley relay and achieved its goal of picking up a provisional qualifier. The quartet of junior Dorian Ulrey in the 1,200 meters (2:54.3), freshman Jake Stephens in the 400 meters (47.98), sophomore Chris Bilbrew in the 800 meters (1:51.7) and sophomore Duncan Phillips in the mile (4:09.6) put together a time of 9:44.66. In addition to the provisional qualifier, the time is also the national and SEC leader in the event.
"All we were going for was the provisional mark," Ulrey said. "We didn’t want to auto or go too fast today. It’s still early in the season. We are taking it one step at a time and today was a good step. Running the 800 meters two weeks ago worked the rust off for me so I was able to go out and run a smooth lead leg tonight. This race was a good indicator of where we are in training and what we have to do to ultimately get better and race faster. We are still in heavy training periods and those fast times will come."
For the second straight meet, freshman Tarik Batchelor won the long jump. His winning jump of 25-6 is an improved provisional mark and a season best. He is tied for the national lead and has an outright lead in the SEC.
Junior Alain Bailey made his long jump debut Friday night. He finished third overall with a mark of 24-9. He currently ranks 11th nationally and third in the SEC.
After day one of the heptathlon, senior Boris Roslov sits in second place with 2,971 points and freshman Nate Durham is third with 2,922 points.
For complete meet results and more information about Arkansas track and field, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.