FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A clutch 27-point performance in the 5,000-meter run carried Arkansas to the Southeastern Conference outdoor track and field championship late Sunday, giving the Razorbacks their 20th conference triple crown and an SEC title in the inaugural event at the new John McDonnell Field.
UA earlier this year won SEC titles in cross country and indoor track and field. The sweep of all three titles is Arkansas’ 20th conference triple crown in the last 25 years.
The outdoor title is Arkansas’ 13th in 15 years, and it is the 79th conference championship for head coach John McDonnell, including his fourth straight. It is also his 22nd conference outdoor track and field championship and his 41st conference title in either cross country, indoor or outdoor track and field in 45 championship events.
Entering the final two events, the 5,000 and the 4×400-meter relay, Tennessee held a 12-point advantage over the Razorbacks, 122.5-110.5. Arkansas entered the day with a 47-30 lead over Florida while Tennessee was third with 29.
The field for the 5,000 was loaded with Hogs, and they came through. Senior All-American Josphat Boit, who earlier in the day finished second in the 1,500 (3:44.45), won in a time of 13:52.17. Senior Marc Rodrigues was second (13:54.26), sophomore Shawn Forrest fourth (13:59.05), senior Seth Summerside, sixth (14:09.91) and freshman Kenny Cormier eighth (14:17.71).
With the top eight places scoring, Boit added 10 points to UA’s total, Rodrigues eight, Forrest five, Summerside, who earlier finished fifth in the 1,500 (3:46.98), scored three and Cormier one for a 27-point event and a 137.5-124.5 lead over Tennessee going in the final event.
With only one team in the relay, the best Tennessee could do was close within three points of the Hogs.
The final standings had Arkansas with 137.5 points followed by Tennessee with 126.5, Florida 110, LSU 109, South Carolina 77, Alabama 67.5, Kentucky 58, Georgia 52.5, Auburn and Ole Miss 31, and Mississippi State with 19.
Earlier in the day, senior Eric Brown won the javelin (251-09), freshman Nkosinza Balumbu won the triple jump (53-04.5), and junior Greg Martin placed second in the high jump (7-1) and third in the triple jump (51-1.75).
Other scorers for the Hogs included junior Brian Roe finishing third in the 800 (1:50.06), junior Adam Perkins sixth in the 1,500 (3:47.04), freshman Mychael Stewart sixth in the triple jump (49-7.75), senior Jimmy Duke seventh in the pole vault (16-2.75), senior Brad Dittoe seventh in the 400 hurdles (52.38) and freshman Daniel Quinn eighth in the triple jump (49-4.25).