Hogs Post Successful First Outing for Indoor S
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The top-ranked Razorbacks displayed a solid start for the 2005 indoor track and field season when five UA athletes earned NCAA provisional qualifications at the Arkansas Invitational on Friday night.
“We had some nice things happen tonight,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “Peter (Kosgei) looked great in the 3,000 and to have two guys qualified in both the 400 and triple jump is a great start. All in all, we’re on the right track. We just need to stay healthy and focused.”
In his first 400-meter race sophomore Wallace Spearmon Jr. tied the Arkansas school record as he won the event with a time of 46.16. Calvin Davis had set the standard in 1993 at the NCAA Championships. Senior Terry Gatson was also in the race and earned runner-up honors with a time of 46.95. Both Hog runners gained NCAA provisional times with their performances.
“It was a good opening for us,” Arkansas sprints and hurdles coach Lance Brauman said. “I was hoping they would run well, but they ran a little faster than I expected and that’s always good. It’s a good place to build for the rest of the season.”
Senior Jaanus Uudmae came through on his last attempt in the triple jump and put up a provisional mark of 52-7.50 for runner-up honors behind former Arkansas great Melvin Lister. In his Razorback debut freshman Chessly Johnson garnered a provisional mark in the triple jump with a mark of 51-1.75 and finished in fourth place.
The 3,000 meters was loaded with UA athletes, but it was sophomore transfer Peter Kosgei who took the tape in his first race as a Razorback. The Kenya native also grabbed a provisional time of 8:04.14. Three other Hogs followed as senior Jason Sandfort was second (8:12.55), freshman Shawn Forrest came in third (8:13.55) and junior Marc Rodrigues finished fourth (8:14.70).
Junior Matt Gunn and senior Eric Gross were also in the race and they crossed the line in eighth (8:32.57) and 12th (9:06.56), respectively.
Four Hog runners were in the mile run and sophomore Adam Perkins captured the title when he recorded a personal-best time of 4:06.31. Juniors Jose Campos and Harun Iman were fifth (4:11.42) and sixth (4:11.63), respectively and sophomore Abdi Dubed came in ninth with a new personal-best time of 4:14.64.
The 4×400-meter relay team of Gatson, senior Omar Brown, freshman two-sport athlete Michael Grant and Spearmon capped off the night and put together a time of 3:11.09 for the meet title.
The 800 meters also had a duo of UA athletes entered. Senior James Hatch claimed second place with a time of 1:50.64 and junior David Wittenmyer was 13th (1:57.72).
Senior Cory Oldham claimed top honors in the high jump after he cleared 6-6.75 and freshman Brent Rosson tied for third (6-4.75).
The 60-meter dash had only one Razorback entered and sophomore Creighton Kiper finished fourth (6.98) after posting 7.05 in the prelims. He also competed in the 200-meter dash and turned in a time of 22.16 for first place in his heat and sixth overall.
Junior Jimmy Duke was seventh in the shot put with a career-best 36-9.50 and in his first time to compete in the 60-meter hurdles he registered a time of 9.06 for 14th place. Later that day he saw competition in the pole vault and cleared a height of 15-9.00 for fourth.
Arkansas will have the opportunity to stay at home again when it hosts the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 21-22 at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
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