Hog Shuttle Hurdle Relay Takes Second at Drake
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas track and field squad competed in the final day of competition at the Drake Relays on Saturday taking home second place in the 4×110-meter shuttle hurdle relay. The Hogs will now begin preparations for the Southeastern Conference Championships in Columbia, South Carolina, May 10-13.
“It was not a very good weekend overall,” UA head coach John McDonnell said. “We just don’t have the chemistry that we have had in the past. We have better runners than what they are performing. We have the typical bumps and bruises but we have not got much time left but we can still turn it around. We just don’t have the great depth like we have had before.”
After turning in the second fastest time in the prelims of 56.58, the relay team made-up of Sean Lightfoot, Sam Glover, Michael Thomas and Eddie Jackson finished in 55.28 and in second place behind Indiana State who finished in 55.06.
Eddie Jackson and Sean Lightfoot returned to action later on Saturday in the 110-meter hurdle finals. After qualifying for the finals on Friday night, Jackson finished fourth in 13.95 while Lightfoot took fifth in 14.35.
In the distance medley relay, Sharif Karie ran the 1,200-meter leg and handed off to Kevin Baker for the 400-meter leg but Baker cramped up going into the third turn.
“Karie ran a great 1200 meter leg to get us a pretty big lead,” McDonnell said, “but you can’t do anything when you have somebody cramp up like Baker did. We also had a chance to win the sprint medley relay race but we decided to scratch it after Baker’s cramps, and Maurice Robinson had some soreness in his legs. We just did not want to chance it.”
Also qualifying on Friday night was the Razorback 4×100-meter squad who finished 5th in Saturday’s final. Michael Thomas, Chandun O’Neal, Maurice Robinson and Sam Glover made-up the team that ran 40.83.
Triple jumper Maurice Robinson jumped 50-4.00 finishing seventh while teammate Richard Smith took eighth with his jump of 49-11.25.
In the invitational 800-meter run, Frans Schimper passed two guys in the last 100 meters to finish fourth in 1:51.26 and in the university 800-meter run Chad Grundy finished eleventh in 1:55.79.
In the last race of the weekend for the Hogs, Chris Mulvaney finished fourth in the 1,500-meter run in 3:49.01.
The Hogs will now look to the SEC Championships that will be held in two weeks. At the conference championships, the Razorbacks will be looking for their 16th consecutive SEC title and fifth-straight conference triple crown. The No. 3 ranked Hogs will see some stiff competition at conference with six other SEC schools ranked in the top-10 including indoor national champion and No. 1-ranked LSU.
“We have people running well,” McDonnell said, “but we have got to have them all doing what they are capable of doing. We have got to perform well to have a shot at conference and at nationals.”
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