FAYETTEVILLE — The third-ranked University of Arkansas men’s track and field team collected four wins Saturday as it hosted the Arkansas Invitational at John McDonnell Field. The Razorbacks had wins from Akheem Gauntlett at 400 meters, Brede Ellingsen and Noah Kittelson in the high jump, Andrew Irwin in the pole vault and the team’s 4×100-meter relay.
Saturday’s meet, hindered by early morning rain and cool temperatures, was Arkansas’ fourth outdoor home meet of the season. The Arkansas Invitational also featured No. 1 Florida, No. 22 Oklahoma, No. 23 Ohio State, Tulsa and Wichita State. The meet also included day one of a decathlon competition, the first of the season for NCAA indoor heptathlon champion Kevin Lazas.
The Razorbacks opened competition on the track with a victory in the 4×100-meter relay. The team of Gauntlett, Neil Braddy, Jarrion Lawson and Marek Niit passed the baton around the track in a time of 39.52, just .01 off its season best from the McDonnell Invitational two weeks ago. Over the past two weeks, Gauntlett has five wins to his credit–two individual and three relay.
Gauntlett was back on the track for an individual victory at 400 meters. In a near blanket finish, the Razorback senior pushed past the lead group to finish with a winning time of 46.13. The top four in the race finished within .08 seconds of each other. Saturday’s race was the first open 400-meter competition for Gauntlett of the outdoor season. Based on times entering the weekend, Gauntlett’s time stands at No. 15 in the NCAA.
A pair of Arkansas athletes tied for first place in the high jump with Brede Ellingsen and Noah Kittelson both posting final clearances of 2.02m/6-7.5. The Razorbacks swept the vertical jumps with a win by Andrew Irwin in the pole vault. The Razorback sophomore finished the event with a final clearance of 5.16m/16-11. He cleared that height on his second attempt and, with the victory in hand, decided to pass on any further attempts.
After day one of the decathlon, Lazas is in third place overall with 3,860 points. He was bolstered by a trio of runner-up finishes in Saturday’s field events. Lazas is followed in the overall standings by teammates Matt Kirbos in fourth place and Nathanael Franks in seventh place. Day one of the decathlon includes competition in the 100 meters, long jump, high jump, shot put and 400 meters.
The Razorbacks added three runner-up efforts to Saturday results. The team’s second-place performers included Anthony Lieghio at 800 meters, Caleb Cross in the 110-meter hurdles and Jeff Woods in the javelin. Woods posted a personal-best throw of 63.34m/207-10 in the event.
The decathlon will resume Sunday with its first event scheduled for a 2 p.m. (CT) start. Day two of the 10-event competition will feature the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 meters. Lazas will be looking for his first decathlon score of the season. He is the school-record holder with his performance of 7,955 points at the 2012 NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.
Saturday Results200 Meters5. Neil Braddy — 21.42400 Meters1. Akheem Gauntlett — 46.135. Marek Niit — 46.496. Neil Braddy — 47.36 800 Meters2. Anthony Lieghio — 1:50.534. Tomas Squella — 1:51.605. Andrew Pisechko — 1:52.058. Ryan Thomas — 1:53.3512. Leoman Momoh — 1:54.5914. Drew Butler — 1:55.571,500 Meters4. David Flynn — 3:54.03110m Hurdles2. Caleb Cross — 14.193,000m Steeplechase3. Raymond Joseph — 9:18.904x100m Relay1. Braddy/Lawson/Gauntlett/Niit — 39.524x400m Relay4. Thomas/Pisechko/Momoh/Wren — 3:17.86High Jump1. Brede Ellingsen — 2.02m/6-7.51. Noah Kittelson — 2.02m/6-7.53. Dwayne Golbek — 1.97m/6-5.5Pole Vault1. Andrew Irwin — 5.16m/16-11Long Jump3. Jarrion Lawson — 7.56m/24-9.754. Anthony May II — 7.30m/23-11.5Shot Put3. Devin Randall — 16.02m/52-6.75Discus3. Devin Randall — 47.07m/154-54. Deatrich Wise — 46.06m/151-1 (PR — prev: 136-9)Javelin2. Jeff Woods — 63.34m/207-10 (PR — prev: 206-11)3. Pete Mirocke — 61.33m/201-2Decathlon (Day 1)3. Kevin Lazas — 3,860 points 5. 100 Meters — 11.16 [825 points] 2. Long Jump — 7.18m/23-0.75  2. Shot Put — 14.04m/46-0.75  2. High Jump — 1.93m/6-4  6. 400 Meters — 52.40 4. Matt Kirbos — 3,506 points 6. 100 Meters — 11.30 [795 points] 5. Long Jump — 6.80m/22-3.75  7. Shot Put — 12.17m/39-11.25  4. High Jump — 1.84m/6-0.5  7. 400 Meters — 53.36 7. Nathanael Franks — 2,940 points 8. 100 Meters — 11.49 [755 points] 6. Long Jump — 6.37m/20-10.75  3. Shot Put — 13.30m/43-7.75  –. High Jump — NH  2. 400 Meters — 49.64 
Download: Arkansas Invitational.pdf