BATON ROUGE, La. – Arkansas scored 27 points on the second day of the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday with help from Melvin Lister leaping 27-11.25, the longest mark in the world this year and Marcus Clavelle winning the shot put.
The Hogs are currently in second place with 37 points behind LSU with 41 points.
Bound to be one of the greatest long jump competitions in recent history, the SEC boasted four of the top long jumpers in the nation.
With the first round over, Lister was in third place overall, but then came a jump that everyone in the stands knew that was big by cheers. Lister’s second jump he became the world’s longest jumper this year improving his personal best by seven and a half inches to 27-11.25.
“I felt really fast down the runway,” Lister said. “I felt myself on top of my foot when I hit the board. I was just patient in the air, and I didn’t want to come down until I had to.”
Lister’s leap is the second longest in SEC meet history. He has also moved to second on Arkansas’ all-time outdoor top performance list.
“It was a good competition,” Lister said. ‘But I knew that I was better than the 26 foot that led before my jump. No matter what they jumped I was coming out to break records.
“I am satisfied with 27 feet, but I am disappointed that I didn’t get my 28 foot jump.” Lister said.
Five jumpers leaped over 26 feet in the competition.
Senior Marcus Clavelle claimed his second SEC shot put title this year with a throw of 63 feet, 11 inches, three feet further than the second place competitor.
“This really meant a lot to me to win in front of my hometown crowd,” Clavelle said. “I grew up in New Iberia, about fifty minutes away from Baton Rouge. All my family and friends were in the crowd tonight.”
Freshman Daniel Lincoln continued to impress Arkansas head coach John McDonnell in 3000-meter steeplechase. Lincoln placed third behind the two top chasers in the nation. His 8:44.43 is a personal best for his second steeple race ever as a Razorback.
“Third was realistically what I was predicting,” Lincoln said. “It was a personal record so I can’t complain about that. I feel pretty confident for nationals.”
McDonnell was very impressed with the performance.
“He ran a great race,” McDonnell said. “He was able to stay in the pack at the beginning and run with them which gave him enough for third. This race just builds his confidence for nationals.”
Saturday was a big day for the Hogs as they continued to qualify people for the finals to be run on Sunday. Arkansas has four runners in the 1,500m, four in the 110m hurdles, and one in the 400m from prelims ran Saturday.
In the first heat of the 1500m, Ryan Travis coasted to the first place victory with James Karanu in a close third. While Sharif Karie placed first in the second heat. Murray Link placed sixth in the second heat to qualify. The top nine times in the two heats qualified in for the finals.
“It is going to be fun to run with the other guys, yet painful because we plan on taking it out pretty hard,” Link said. “We want to go one, two, three, four and hopefully get some pretty fast times. We want to make it fast so we won’t let anyone in the race.”
Arkansas’ hurdle crew continues to run away from the competition with all four Hogs in the finals. D’Marcus Brown, who had the fastest time of the Razorbacks, Sean Lightfoot, Eddie Jackson and Sam Glover, will compete against South Carolina phenom Terrance Trammell.
Qualifying in his first finals in the 400m is Kevin Baker scorching a 46.96.
“We had a good day,” McDonnell said. “We have four guys in the 1500, four in the hurdles, one in the 400m, steeplechase finished out really good. Certainly the long jump and the shot put were good. We can control our own destiny from here, we just have to go out and do it.”
The Hogs will finish competition in the SEC Track and Field Championships Sunday, May 14.