Link Finished Second in 10,000 meters at the N
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In the last race of the night on the first day of the NCAA national outdoor championships, University of Arkansas track and field senior distance runners Murray Link and Sharif Karie finished second in 29:95.75 and 12th in 30:11.82, respectively, in the 10,000 meter run on Wednesday night. Link’s eight points put the Razorbacks in a tie for fourth place.
After three events, Oregon leads the event with 16 points. Two teams, Notre Dame and USC, are tied for second with 10 points while two other teams, BYU and UTEP, join the Razorbacks in third place with eight points.
“Murray did a great job for us tonight,” UA head coach John McDonnell said. “Karie did not run as well as we had hoped but we are just going to have to get past that. If all our guys lay it out on the line like Murray did then we will be in good shape to challenge for the title. But after the first day we are still in good shape.”
Going into the event, Link had the fifth-best time. Link and Notre Dame’s Ryan Shay ran together for most of the race before Shay took his lead out.
“I thought that I might have been able to out kick him on the end if it would have come down to that,” Link said. “But he took it out earlier and he did what he needed to do to win.”
In the only other action for the Razorbacks, junior Dirk Heinze advanced to the finals of the 800-meter run, finishing second in his heat with the second-fastest time of the day in 1:47.69. Heinze, the 2001 NCAA indoor runner-up, will run in the finals on Friday night at 6:10 p.m. EST.
“Dirk did what we wanted him to do,” McDonnell said. “He ran a pretty easy race and advance to the finals. Now he has got to look to Friday night. He should be in the hunt for first in the 800 meters.”
Taking center stage on day two will be senior high jumpers Kenny Evans, the 2001 Southeastern Conference champion, and Lavar Miller will compete Friday afternoon. Sophomore Eddie Jackson will run in the prelims for the 110-meter hurdles. In the second to last event of the night, 2001 SEC steeplechase champion Daniel Lincoln will look for his first individual national title when he runs in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The Razorbacks are looking for their 37th national title and their ninth title in 10 years after finishing second last year behind Stanford at the NCAA Championships.
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