Heinze and Link Compete in the NCAA Championsh
BY ANDRES FOCIL
EUGENE, Ore. — After rain during the afternoon and a drastic temperature change at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., two University of Arkansas runners, Dirk Heinze and Murray Link, ran and added six points to move the Razorbacks into fourth place with 20 points Friday night.
After the third day of competition, Oregon still leads the men’s team competition with 27 while Baylor sits in second with 24.50. Tennessee is in third with 21 points while UTEP and Stanford round out the top five with 19 points each.
In the 800 meter run, UA junior Dirk Heinze, the 2001 indoor runner-up in the event, went out early with South Carolina’s Otukile Lekote. Heinze remained in second for most of the race until the last 100 meters where Idaho State’s Bryce Knight overtook him for second place. Heinze finished in third in 1:47.35, the second fastest time he had run in the outdoor season.
“The first 400 meters of the race was very fast,” Heinze said. “I got a little body contact going into the last 200 meters of the race and I just did not have enough power left for the kick at the end. My strategy was to stay behind and to kick in the last 100 meters but I just did not have the kick. The guys in front of me were better than me today. They were very strong.
“I got a second and third place finish at nationals this year. That is very close to first. I always strive to get first. Second and third is good. Most guys would wish to have those finishes. I am a little disappointed. The conditions were the same for everybody so that really doesn’t matter.”
Heinze’s six points put the Razorbacks in fourth place with 20 points.
In the last race for the men of the night, senior Murray Link ran his last race ever as a Razorback with a ninth-place finish in the 5,000 meters in 13:58.32. Link is rounding out an outstanding Hog career as a six-time All-American and a one-time SEC Champion after winning the indoor 5,000-meter run this past year.
“I just wanted to go out and run a good race,” Link said. “The race was very fast and the plan was for me to wait until the end and just pick people off and hopefully score a point. Even though that did not happen I am happy with the race. This is my last race ever I am hanging it up after this but I have had a great career and I have enjoyed.”
The lone Hog competitor tomorrow is Daniel Lincoln who will be looking for his first individual national title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Lincoln, who took the SEC title earlier this season, will be one of the favorites after turning in the second fastest time in the preliminaries.
Dirk Heinze – 800 meters – 1:47.69 (advances to the finals)
Murray Link – 10,000 meters – 29:95.75 – 2nd
Sharif Karie – 10,000 meters – 30:11.82 – 12th
Kenny Evans – high jump – 7-4.25 – 3rd
Lavar Miller – high jump – NH
Eddie Jackson – 110 hurdles – 13.99 (did not advance to finals)
Daniel Lincoln – steeplechase – 8:46.98 (advances to the finals)
Dirk Heinze – 800 meters – 1:47.35 – 3rd
Murray Link – 5,000 meters – 13:58.32 – 9th
Daniel Lincoln – 3,000-meter steeplechase
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