FAYETTEVILLE – Head coach Chris Bucknam and the University of Arkansas men’s track and field team has announced the signing of Anthony Lieghio to a National Letter of Intent for the 2011-12 season. Lieghio is the seventh member of the Razorbacks’ current recruiting class. This marks the third Razorback recruiting class for Bucknam and his staff.
"Anthony is a terrific addition to our program," Bucknam said. "He has great range from cross country to the middle distance events, and even ran a leg of the 4×400 relay for Iowa Central at their national meet. He hasn’t run blazing times yet, but he just, flat out, finds a way to win. He has been mentored by world-class Irish middle distance runner Eamonn Coghlan and by the Iowa Central coaching staff. He is exactly the type of student-athlete we want because he understands the team concept and knows how to win."
Lieghio, a native of Dublin, Ireland, specializes in the middle distance events on the track. At the 2011 NJCAA National Indoor Chamionships, Lieghio won a pair of national titles with victories in the 800 and 1,000 meters, helping Iowa Central to the team crown. He was also a member of the Tritons’ championship distance-medley relay team.
During his junior college career, Lieghio established personal bests of 50.88 in the 400 meters, 1:49 in the 800 meters, 2:26 in the 1,000 meters, 3:51 in the 1,500 meters and 4:08 in the mile. Competing at his home country’s national championship, he won the 800 meters at the Under-23 Irish Track and Field Championships.
The signing of Lieghio adds to the Razorbacks’ impressive class of 2011-12 newcomers. In addition to this most recent commitment, Arkansas’ signing class also includes Aaron Allen (McKinney, Texas), Kyle Dunn (Marion, Iowa), Andrew Irwin (Mt. Ida, Ark.), Anthony May II (Hoover, Ala.), Gunnar Nixon (Edmond, Okla.) and Devin Randall (Bartlesville, Okla.).
In other signee news, Nixon is competing in the decathlon this week at the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. After day one, he leads the 10-event competition with 4,384 points and first-place finishes in four of the five events Thursday. His point total is a day-one high school record with the help of meet records in the long jump and high jump. Competition concludes Friday.