DES MOINES, Iowa – The No. 7 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team opened competition at the 2011 NCAA Championships Thursday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Kevin Lazas is in 12th place in the decathlon with 4,009 points through the first five events of the two-day competition. The Razorbacks’ opening day at the national meet also featured semifinal action in the 4×100-meter relay and 3,000-meter steeplechase.
"(Kevin) had a great day," assistant and multi-event coach Travis Geopfert said. "He had a couple of personal bests and was solid across the board. He scored over 4,000 points on day one which is very significant in the decathlon, about 60 points ahead of the pace he set for himself at the SEC meet. It was just a great way to get started."
In his first event of the day, Lazas posted a time of 10.96 in the 100 meters, good for second place in his heat and 11th overall with 870 points. The decathlon then moved over to the long jump where the Razorback freshman got out to a personal-best mark of 24-3. He finished fourth among competitors in the event with 908 points and moved into seventh overall in the decathlon through two events.
Lazas had a day’s best of 43-1.75 in the shot put which added 676 points to his total. Through three events, he held on to this seventh-place spot heading into the high jump. In that next event, Lazas stayed alive with a last-attempt clearance at the opening height and finished with a 6-5 mark, good for 767 points. He wrapped the day with a personal-best time of 50.58 and 788 points toward his day-one total.
Arkansas put together a season-best time in the semifinal round of the 4×100-meter relay, but finished ninth overall and was the first team out of Saturday’s final. The team of Caleb Cross, Neil Braddy, LaShawn Butler and Marek Niit crossed third in heat three with a time of 39.29, bettering its previous best of 39.47 run in May at the Arkansas Twilight.
The Razorbacks closed out their schedule Wednesday with Rick Elliott in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The junior distance runner finished 12th in heat one, crossing in a time of 9:19.72 and will not advance to Friday’s final. Elliott closes out his season with a season-best time 8:52.70, which he ran at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Eugene to qualify for the national meet.
Day two of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships begins with the completion of the decathlon, in addition to finals in the long jump and semifinal action in the 200 meters, 1,500 meters and 4×400-meter relay. Points will be up for grabs Thursday in the decathlon and long jump with Tarik Batchelor and Raymond Higgs. For more information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
NCAA Championships – Day 1 Results
Decathlon12. Kevin Lazas, 4,009 points 11. 100m, 10.96, 870 points 4. Long Jump, 24-3, 908 points 11. Shot Put, 43-1.75, 676 points 13. High Jump, 6-5, 767 points 22. 400m, 50.58, 788 points
4x100m Relay9. Cross/Braddy/Butler/Niit, 39.29 (SB)
3,000m Steeplechase24. Rick Elliott, 9:19.72
(SB) – season best
Download: NCAA Championship results, Day 1.pdf