AUSTIN, Texas – Day two of the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin saw five more members of the No. 7 Arkansas men’s track and field team punch their tickets to Eugene, Oregon for the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Sophomore Obi Igbokwe was the first Hog of the day to race to a national slot, finishing fourth in heat three of the 400-meter dash with 45.72. Igbokwe’s time placed him 11th overall in a stacked competition, which saw Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley break the NCAA record with 43.70.
Forever the postseason contributor junior Kenzo Cotton qualified for outdoor nationals, following a seventh-place finish in the 100. The All-American sprinter barely missed out on securing a wind legal improvement on his season best as the wind gauge registered 2.1 meters per second for his 10.10-second performance.
“I just wanted to run fast,” Cotton said. “Just get to Eugene with my friends since I wasn’t able to get that wind legal time.”
Transfer to Arkansas, Qualify for Nationals
Hurdle duo Travius Chambers (Arkansas State) and Kemar Mowatt (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) both began their collegiate careers elsewhere but advanced to the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter hurdles as Razorbacks. Mowatt cruised to his NCAA spot, winning his heat with a time of 49.10, while Chambers picked up the last entry off an unyielding push down the home stretch, earning him a new PR of 50.85. Prior to joining the Razorback squad Chambers had never hurdled in his life.
Orange Finds His Rhythm
Two-time All-American Carlton Orange qualified for the NCAA championships in the 800 for the first time since his freshman indoor season. One of the top middle distance preps in 2015, Orange placed at the 2016 NCAA indoor national championship but was unable to gain entry into the 2016 outdoor and 2017 indoor national championships in his signature event. Orange advanced through as the eighth best runner in the West region off his time of 1:48.03.
“We had a really good day today,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “Two qualifiers in the 400 hurdles, Obi in the 400, Carlton Orange is really on the upswing and punched his ticket. Kenzo looks outstanding and is the glue that holds that sprint crew together. Roy, Kevin and Josh, they’re all dialed in. Would have been nice to see Cale Wallace and Aidan Swain get to Eugene. Both of those guys bleed Razorback red and have been great representatives of our program. I’m extremely proud of them and thankful for the hardwork, leadership and time they put in during their years here. All in all, a good day across the board and we’re going to try to finish this meet out strong tomorrow.”
Fresh off his 100-meter NCAA qualification, Cotton as well as Josh Washington, Roy Ejiakuekwu and Kevin Harris advanced to the 200 quarterfinals. All four will get the chance to race for entry to the national meet tomorrow evening at 7:50 p.m. CT.
*Times listed above denote the start of the live stream
Fans can follow the action through the live results link or tune in to the Texas Sports live stream daily by using the links above. Fans can also participate in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NCAATFWest.
NCAA Qualifiers (9)
• 100 Meters: Kenzo Cotton
• 400 Meters: Obi Igbokwe
• 800 Meters: Carlton Orange
• 400 Meter Hurdles: Travius Chambers, Kemar Mowatt
• Long Jump: Harrison Schrage, Andreas Trajkovski
• Decathlon: Derek Jacobus, Gabe Moore
Arkansas NCAA West Event Schedule
Saturday, May 27
6:15 p.m. – Men’s 4x100m Quarterfinal (Arkansas Team)
7:50 p.m. – Men’s 200m Quarterfinal (Washington, Cotton, Ejiakuekwu, Harris)
8:45 p.m. – Men’s 5000m Semifinal (Bruce, George, Griffith, Dalquist)
9:45 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Quarterfinal (Arkansas)
3:00 p.m. – Men’s Triple Jump (Pullen, Owens)
6:00 p.m. – Men’s High Jump (LeGassey, Owens, Rivera)
NCAA West Day Two Results
100 Meters Quarterfinals
7. Kenzo Cotton – 10.10w NCAA Q
15. Roy Ejiakuekwu – 10.24w
200 Meters First Round
2. Kenzo Cotton – 20.20w Q
9. Josh Washington – 20.60 Q
11. Roy Ejiakuekwu – 20.65 Q
19. Kevin Harris – 20.89 Q
400 Meters Quarterfinals
11. Obi Igbokwe – 45.72 NCAA Q
21. Rhayko Schwartz – 46.40
23. Eric Janise – 46.73
800 Meters Quarterfinals
8. Carlton Orange – 1:48.03 NCAA Q
400 Meter Hurdles Quarterfinals
3. Kemar Mowatt – 49.10 NCAA Q
12. Travius Chambers – 50.85 NCAA Q
23. Cale Wallace – 9:12.71
28. Aidan Swain – 9:20.11
36. Sam Kempka – 16.24m/53-3 1/2
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.