FAYETTEVILLE – In its final weekend before the national meet, the No. 2 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team will host its annual Last Chance meet and send a group of runners to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Competition at the Randal Tyson Track Center is scheduled to begin Friday at noon (CT) with running events set for a 6 p.m. start.
As the final competition before next weekend’s national meet, competitors will be looking to improve their national marks in advance of Monday’s release of the accepted entries list. The 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships will be contested March 9-10 at the Jacksons Track in Nampa, Idaho.
"We’re going to run our distance-medley relay up at Notre Dame on Friday," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "We feel like we can put a competitive team in there so we’ll see what happens. We know that race will be filled with some good teams. We’ll also have our Last Chance here so the rest of our guys will be competing here on campus."
At the Last Chance meet, Arkansas has entries in the 200 meters, 400 meters, 60-meter hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put and weight throw. The Razorbacks are set to compete at 400 meters, 3,000 meters and in the distance-medley relay at the Notre Dame meet. Arkansas’ season-best time in the DMR of 9:39.41 is currently ranked No. 13 in the NCAA.
Heading into the weekend, the Razorbacks have four NCAA automatic-qualifying performances with efforts from Andrew Irwin in the pole vault, Gunnar Nixon and Kevin Lazas in the heptathlon and the 4×400-meter relay team. Non-automatic qualifiers ranked inside the top 10 of their respective event are Akheem Gauntlett at 200 meters and Gauntlett, Neil Braddy and Marek Niit at 400 meters.
Despite its team title at the SEC indoor meet last weekend, Arkansas slipped to No. 2 in the Feb. 28 release of the USTFCCCA national rankings. The Razorbacks are one of the SEC’s NCAA-leading seven teams ranked this week. The team is joined in the rankings by No. 1 Florida, No. 4 LSU, No. 12 Mississippi State, No. 14 Georgia, No. 19 Auburn and No. 21 Ole Miss. Arkansas does hold on to its No. 1 ranking in the South Central region.
Meet day coverage for the Arkansas Last Chance meet will include an interactive blog and live results via Flash Results. Information about the Alex Wilson Invitational can be found at www.und.com. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.