FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Day two of the Razorback Invitational has concluded at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Fayetteville. Arkansas ended the two-day event with a total of six NCAA provisional-qualifying marks.
“I was pretty happy with Scott (MacPherson), (Daniel) LaCava (in the mile) and Brian Roe coming back in the 800 meters,” McDonnell said. “We have some guys that are own the right track. If you count last night, (Colin) Costello doing what he did and Adam Perkins had a good meet last night. Peter Kosgei had a decent weekend, not great. He’ll be okay. I don’t worry about him.”
The distance events were strong today for the Razorbacks with Scott MacPherson in the 3,000 meters (8:04.51) and Daniel LaCava in the mile (4:03.94) both clocking NCAA provisional-qualifying times in their respective events.
Former Razorback All-American Seth Summerside took the 3K race out with NCAA 1,500-meter champion Vincent Rono of South Alabama trailing. When Summerside stepped off the track, Rono took the lead and Arthur Kern of Harding and MacPherson traded places a few time before crossing the finish line.
“(The race) was a good step ion the right direction for me,” MacPherson said. “I am really happy with that time this early in the season. That’s the key part. It’s the second meet and the first time I have run that race this season. Hopefully, I’ll keep moving forward and stay positive. This race gave me a lot of confidence for the next few meets.”
The Plano, Texas native, whose time is the first provisional-qualifying mark of his career and a personal best, moved into second with about 100 meters to go. Rono took the tape at 8:01.68 and Kern earned a bronze finish with a time of 8:06.69.
“We had a race plan and some times we wanted to go off of but I knew (Henry) Rono was going to be in the race,” MacPherson said. “We basically said ‘let’s go for a win today’. Seth (Summerside) did a good job of pace leading until he stepped off the track. He won the 1,500 meters last year at the NCAAs so I knew he’d have a better last lap then I would but there was always a chance as long as I stayed with him. I didn’t get the win but I was pretty happy with everything else.”
“MacPherson had a six-second personal best in the 3K and looked really good,” McDonnell said. “He competed really well. (Daniel) LaCava, that was a great run for him. Really, that was his first college mile. That was exciting.”
In the mile, All-American Adam Perkins paced the race and stepped off the track at the 800-meter mark. Another former Hog, Said Ahmed, took over the lead from Perkins and led the rest of the race. He finished with a 3:59.18.
LaCava ran from the back of the pack and continued to pick off runners until he held strong in third around the 100-meter mark. Mark Thompson, unattached, finished second with a 4:03.46 and LaCava was third with a provisional-qualifying personal-best 4:03.94. Kosgei, primarily a longer distance runner who was using the race for training and speed work, finished sixth with a clocking of 4:08.52.
J-Mee Samuels won the 60-meter dash with his second provisional-qualifying time of the season, 6.73. Samuels was seventh overall in the prelims with a time of 6.84.
“Samuels winning the 60 meters (was good),” McDonnell said. “It was nice to see him back in control. He won, that’s the important thing. Winning is the bottom line.”
He did not better his time from last week (6.69) but was pleased with the way he ran on back-to-back days after competing in the 200 meters Friday night.
“I’m used to running back-to-back,” Samuels said. “For this season, that was my first goal. I’ll do it again but I’m just trying to get used to it. As far as prelims go, I just try to make it to the finals.”
A somewhat rough day in the triple jump allowed only one Hog, of the six competing, to mark a provisional-qualifying leap. Nkosinza Balumbu, who also competed in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles clocking an 8.19, won the event with a distance of 51-6.5, five inches farther then last week’s jump. It is his second NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of the young season.
Mychael Stewart was third (49-10.5), freshman Gary Jones, a USA Today All-American, debuted with a 48-0.5 (ninth), Alain Bailey was 11th with a 47-8 and Daniel Quinn marked 467-2.5 and finished 14th.
Arkansas will only be sending a few athletes next weekend to the Boston Indoor Games. The entire team will travel in two weeks to the New Balance Collegiate Invite in New York, N.Y. For complete results of the Razorback Invitational, visit www.hogwired.com.