FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Jimmy Duke sits in seventh place after the first day of competition in the decathlon at the 2006 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at John McDonnell Field.
Duke was the first Razorback to compete at the much anticipated new venue. The Ballwin, Mo., product scored 3,371 points in the first day of competition and trails the current decathlon leader Chris Helwick of Tennessee by 542 points.
“Jimmy is about where I expected him to be after day one,” Arkansas field events coach Dick Booth said. “He is stronger in the events on the second day. If he can keep on coming, he can score some points for us tomorrow.”
Duke started the afternoon with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter dash. He crossed the line in a time of 11.48 to finish third in his heat and earn 757 points for his fifth-place finish overall. Duke followed it up with a sixth-place finish in the long jump with a measurement of 21-1 1/4 to net 682 points.
Duke added another 562 points with a throw of 36-11 3/4 in the shot put. He finished eighth in the event. He moved up a spot to seventh in the fourth event of the decathlon. Duke cleared 5-11 1/2 in the high jump to earn 644 points.
In the final event of the evening, Duke finished third in his heat and seventh overall in the 400-meter dash. He netted 726 points and that was good enough to move him up to seventh in the overall standings.
Duke will finish competition in the decathlon on Friday competing in the 110-meter hurdles, the discus, the pole vault, the javelin and the 1,500-meter run.
In other action on Friday, Arkansas will have competitors in the preliminaries of the 200-meter dash, the 800-meter run and the 400-intermediate hurdles. Freshmen Jeremy Dodson, J-Mee Samuels and Cedric Zellner will take to the starting line in the 200. Junior Brian Roe and freshman Daniel LaCava will compete in the 800. Seniors Brad Dittoe and David Wittenmyer are slated to run the 400 hurdles on Friday.
The Razorbacks will also look to dent the scoreboard in the 10,000-meter run at 9:30 p.m. Senior Josphat Boit will look to defend his conference outdoor crown in that event after winning last year at Vanderbilt. In fact, Arkansas has won the 10K in 13 of 14 conference meets since joining the league in time for the 1991-92 season.
The SEC meet begins at 10 a.m. on Friday with the women’s hammer throw. The men’s hammer throw follows at 1 p.m. The resumption of the decathlon is at 3:30 p.m. and the women’s heptathlon resumes at 4:30 p.m. Running event preliminaries begin at 7 p.m. with the women’s 800.
Reserved area tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday may be purchased at John McDonnell Field for $25. General admission tickets will also be available for $10 with fans 18 and under admitted for $5.