Duke Sits in Eighth Place in Decathlon at SEC
BY ANDRES FOCIL
OXFORD, Miss. – Junior pole vaulter Jimmy Duke opened the 2004 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships for Arkansas when competed in his first collegiate decathlon on Thursday night. He was able to tally 3,466 points after five events and put himself in a potential scoring position of eighth place. Auburn’s Maurice Smith is holding down the top spot with 3,996 points, while Mississippi State’s Trey Hardee is right behind in second with 3,994.
“Jimmy (Duke) competed very well,” Arkansas field events coach Dick Booth said. “Every event was as good as we had hoped for and that’s very unusual to go out and do the best you’ve ever done in an event. We couldn’t have asked for more. Tomorrow should go even better, because he’s very strong in the pole vault and the 1,500 meters. He just has to get through the discus and the high hurdles.”
In the 100-meter dash Duke registered a time of 11.33 for 789 points for fifth place overall. In the long jump he posted a mark of 21-8.25 for 723 points and the sixth spot. He threw 36-3.00 for 549 points in the shot put and was in seventh after that performance.
The high jump followed and Duke maintained his placement with a clearance of 5-11.25 for 636 points. With a good mark from the vertical jumps under his belt Duke prepared for the 400-meter dash. He clocked a solid time of 51.00 for 769 points and concluded the night in eighth place with a total of 3,466.
The decathlon will continue on Friday with the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500-meter run. The preliminary heats of a few open events will also start on Friday including the 800 meters, 200-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles. The finals of the 10,000-meter run will cap off the night at 9:50 p.m. The 10K will serve as an important opportunity for the Razorbacks to rack up many points with senior defending champion Alistair Cragg leading the harriers as they try to successfully defend their SEC outdoor crown.
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