FAYETTEVILLE – After spending last weekend on the road, the No. 14 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team will host the Razorback Spring Invitational on Saturday at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville. Field events begin at 8 a.m. (CT) with the hammer throw while action on the track gets started at 3 p.m. with the 4×100-meter relays.
"Every time we step on the track, we want to be better than the week before," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "We want to accomplish some things and put on a good home meet. It should be an entertaining meet. Hopefully, we can continue to build on kids going better as the season goes and have them on that regional list to get them qualified."
Arkansas has five top-10 national marks after opening its outdoor season at the Texas Triangular and Stanford Invitational. Marek Niit owns the No. 1 time in the 100 meters with a 10.21 while LaShawn Butler (10.35) is sixth in the event. Eric Fernandez (28:48.44) is sixth in the 10,000 meters and Tarik Batchelor (24-10) is third in the long jump. The Razorbacks’ 4×100-meter relay of Butler, Niit, Caleb Cross and Ben Skidmore posted a time of 39.91 last weekend, the sixth fastest in the nation.
For his performance at the Texas Triangular, Niit was named the Southeastern Conference Male Runner of the Week on Tuesday by the league office. His showing in the 100 meters represents a national record for his native Estonia. Niit now owns four national marks in his home country.
In addition to the Razorbacks, the field of competition for this weekend’s home meet includes Drake, Kansas, Missouri State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, UMKC, Butler Community College, Lincoln (Mo.) and Missouri Southern. The Sooners come to Fayetteville as the 15th-ranked team in the nation while Lincoln (Mo.) is No. 9 in Division II.
The Razorback Spring Invitational marks the first of three home meets for Arkansas this outdoor season. The home schedule also includes the John McDonnell Invitational (April 23) and Arkansas Twilight (May 6). After this weekend’s competition, Arkansas returns to action April 6-9 at the Texas Relays in Austin. For continued coverage and more home meet information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.