FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas freshman Luke Laird, a javelin thrower on the Razorback track and field team, is featured in this month’s Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd.” The magazine is currently available on newsstands.
Laird was recognized for his brief but outstanding freshman season with the Track Hogs. The 2008 SEC Javelin Champion, Laird came out of a redshirt season to take the javelin title on his final throw of the competition. He is the first frosh to win the javelin since Georgia’s Trevor Snyder won the event in 2002.
His winning and season-best mark of 228-4 is a personal best and ranks No. 3 on UA’s all-time list. His 10 points put the Razorbacks ahead in the team standings as Arkansas won its 84th conference title (cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field).
Laird went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. In Des Moines last weekend, Laird finished 14th in the javelin prelims and fourth among freshmen.
His best mark (228-4) currently ranks 13th among collegians and fourth among freshmen, nationally.
Laird will compete next at the USA Junior Championships in Columbus, Ohio, June 20-22. He ranks first among junior competitors (19-years old or younger). A top-two finish will land him a spot on Team USA for the World Junior Championships in Poland next month. For complete details and results, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/USAJuniorOutdoorTFChampionships/.