FAYETTEVILLE – Kevin Lazas, a member of the No. 15 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team, has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon. The Razorback freshman scored a school-record 7,542 points on his way to a victory in the decathlon last weekend at the rain-effected John McDonnell Invitational.
"Kevin is going to be a tough competitor for us," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "He’s a tough kid that enjoys his event an awful lot, which goes a long way. We were competing under tough conditions, and it was a great job out of Kevin and we expect to see more out of him. (Assistant coach) Travis (Geopfert) is doing a great job with that group."
Competing in his first collegiate decathlon, Lazas finished in the top two of five events, including wins in the long jump and pole vault. He surpassed the previous school mark of 7,266 points set by David Wehmeyer back in 1983. The decathlon mark had been the oldest remaining record in the Razorbacks’ records book. His point total is tops among freshman in the SEC, second among freshman nationally, third overall in the conference and No. 14 overall in the NCAA.
The Brentwood, Tenn., native led the 10-event competition with 3,943 points after day one with the help of a 24-2.5 mark in the long jump and a personal-best effort of 44-1.5 in the shot put. Lazas was in second place through the first three events but took the lead for good with a clearance of 6-3.25 in the high jump. He led by 53 points heading into the second day.
During the 2011 indoor season, Lazas was a second-team All-American in the heptathlon. He was the runner-up at the SEC Championships with a school-record total of 5,674 points in the seven-event competition. His performance at the indoor conference meet extended his own American junior record which he originally set earlier in the season.
In the April 26 release of the USTFCCCA Top 25, the Razorbacks are the No. 15 team in the country. Arkansas is one of seven teams from the SEC within the national poll, all of which are ranked inside the top 20. Along with the Razorbacks, the rankings include No. 2 LSU, No. 4 Florida, No. 11 Georgia, No. 14 Ole Miss, No. 18 Mississippi State and No. 19 Auburn.
Arkansas returns to action April 28-30 for the 2011 Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Competition for the Razorbacks begins Thursday evening with the steeplechase and 5,000 meters. The relay carnival begins Friday afternoon and concludes Saturday with the 4×800-meter relay. For more information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.