FAYETTEVILLE – Based on their respective performances at the Razorback Invitational last weekend, Akheem Gauntlett and Gunnar Nixon have earned Southeastern Conference weekly honors as announced Tuesday by the league office. Gauntlett was named the SEC Runner of the Week while Nixon was named the league Co-Field Athlete and Freshman of the Week.
Gauntlett is the current national leader in the 200 meters and as part of Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay. He posted a time of 20.82 to win the 200 meters and move into seventh place on Arkansas’ all-time performance list. Running the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay, Gauntlett helped the Razorbacks to an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 3:06.03, the third-fastest foursome in program history. He also owns the No. 4 time in the country at 400 meters after running to a time of 46.73 to finish third in the event at the Razorback Invitational.
In his first collegiate multi-event competition, Nixon set the world junior record in the heptathlon with 6,022 points, replacing the previous mark of 5,953 set by Michael Kohnle of West Germany in 1989. His mark also represents a 2012 world leader, American junior record, NCAA automatic-qualifying total, top mark in the nation this year and school record. Nixon is the only junior competitor-aged 20 and under-to score more than 6,000 points in the heptathlon. During the seven-event competition, he established three personal bests to boost his score.
Arkansas continues its reign atop the national rankings with the release of the Jan. 31 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings. The Razorbacks are one of seven teams from the SEC ranked this week, along with No. 2 Florida, No. 3 LSU, No. 17 Ole Miss, No. 18 Mississippi State, No. 22 Georgia and No. 25 Auburn. The SEC leads the country with its seven ranked teams.
The Razorbacks are scheduled for a pair of competitions this weekend with the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind., and the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston. This will mark Arkansas’ first road trip of the 2012 season. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.