Hogs Improve Times in New York, But Miss NCAA
BY ANDRES FOCIL
NEW YORK, N.Y. – During the first day of the New Balance Collegiate Invitational No. 1 ranked Arkansas had athletes entered in only five events. The Hogs were looking to gain more NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying times, but struggled to earn those important standards in Friday’s competition.
Three Razorbacks started off the day in the 400-meter dash, but senior Terry Gatson was the only one who was able to advance to the finals. Gatson turned in a season-best 46.85 to finish first in his heat. It was also the fastest time out of the 17 sections and improved his NCAA provisional standing.
Senior Omar Brown and sophomore Wallace Spearmon Jr., both won their heats, but their times of 47.88 and 47.74, respectively did not make the top eight. Junior David Wittenmyer finished third in his heat with a season-best 48.88.
Sophomore Peter Kosgei also recorded a season-best time in the 3,000 meters. He crossed the line in 8:00.98 for a close second place to Iona College standout Richard Kiplagat (8:00.32). Kosgei was already provisionally qualified in the event with his previous top time of 8:04.14.
Senior Jason Sandfort was the next to cross the line when he came in seventh (8:06.28) and freshman Shawn Forrest was 12th (8:09.48). Both of Sandfort’s and Forrest’s times were season-bests.
Junior Harun Iman registered a personal-best time of 1:51.09 as he finished third in his heat of the 800 meters. Sophomore Brian Roe was also in the same heat and came in eighth (1:54.55).
Only one Hog competed in the long jump and senior Jaanus Uudmae finished in third place with a leap of 24-2.50. It was his first time to compete in the event this year.
In the 60-meter dash sophomore Creighton Kiper ran a time of 7.09, but freshman Michael Grant was charged with a false start.
On Saturday the Razorbacks will take to the track in the 5,000 meters to start off the day at 11:20 a.m. The 800 meters and mile run will follow and UA will also field a team in the distance medley relay and 4×400-meter relay. The Hogs are still hoping to pick up an NCAA qualifying time in the 4×400. Several field events are scheduled for tomorrow, including the pole vault, high jump and triple jump.
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