FAYETTEVILLE – On the heels of a school-record performance at the Arkansas-Texas Dual, Andrew Irwin was named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Freshman of the Week. In addition to establishing a new school mark, Irwin also hit the NCAA automatic-qualifying standard in the pole vault to secure his spot at the national meet in March.
"We’re really pleased with Andrew’s development," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "Coach (Doug) Case has done a tremendous job in working with him. We’re already seeing signs of improvement. He’s a great competitor so as he gets stronger and faster, we could see even higher heights. Breaking a school record at Arkansas is no small feat."
With his school-record clearance of 5.50m (18-0.5) at last Friday’s dual meet, Irwin surpassed the previous record of 5.44m (17-10.25) set by Troy Smith in 1998. The Mt. Ida., Ark., native now owns the No. 2 mark in the country and became the first-ever Razorback to clear 18 feet indoors, and the fourth to do so overall.
Collectively, the Razorbacks have seven top-five national marks. Irwin and Ben Skidmore (400 meters) are currently ranked second in their respective events. Akheem Gauntlett (200 meters) and Leoman Momoh (800 meters) have the third-best marks in their events. Patrick Rono (800 meters), Lane Boyer (3,000 meters) and Caleb Cross (60-meter hurdles) own the No. 4 marks in their events.
Arkansas, ranked No. 2 in the USTFCCCA preseason poll, returns to action Jan. 27-28 with the Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.