FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Boris Roslov is leading the heptathlon after day one of the two-day event, Greg Martin cleared 7-1 in the high jump and the distance medley relay clocked an NCAA provisional-qualifying time at Friday’s Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
“It was a slow day,” head coach John McDonnell said. “Even though we didn’t get (automatic-qualifying time) I was happy with the way all those distance runners ran in the DMR. Adam Perkins looked really good. Colin Costello looked really good. Daniel LaCava looked good. Those are the guys that are going to make a difference. Before the year is out, we will have a good team.”
The Razorbacks entered two teams in the DMR and seven post collegians, with the help of a current Razorback, also formed two teams.
“Daniel LaCava ran really well for the “B” team with a 1:51 (800-meter leg),” McDonnell said. “Colin Costello also ran a really good opening leg with a 2:55 (in the 1,200 meters). We wanted to get him in two races this weekend.”
The Arkansas “A” team (Adam Perkins, Clemore Henry, Brian Roe and Peter Kosgei) finished third (9:44.17) behind the Arkansas Track Club (Said Ahmed, Cedric Zellner, Nephi Tyler and Seth Summerside) that took the tape with a time of 9:38.16 and Global Athletics (Alistair Cragg, Tyson Gay, Mark Fountain and Josphat Boit) that combined for 9:40.03, good for a second-place finish. Colin Costello also ran the opening 1,200-meter leg for a warm-up race and stepped off the track.
“We ran a couple of teams and didn’t put all our good guys together,” McDonnell said. “We split up the teams trying to get everybody a good race. The 800-meter leg (of the “A” team) gave (Peter) Kosgei no man’s land. You can’t do that. (Kosgei) tried hard to catch up but he couldn’t do it.”
Perkins, a 1,500-meter All-American and a member of the defending NCAA DMR-title winning team, was pleased with his teammates on both the relays and is optimistic about the weeks to come.
“We didn’t get the automatic time tonight but we didn’t have any expectations because this is the first team we put together,” Perkins said. “I haven’t talked to Coach (McDonnell) yet and there is definitely work to be done but I think our automatic time will come.”
Perkins on the opening 1,200-meter leg clocked a split of 2:54.8, Henry ran a 48.8 400-meter leg, Roe had a 1:53.4 800 meters and Kosgei anchored with a 4:06.9 1,600 meters.
“I definitely put together a good race for myself and I’m happy about that,” Perkins said. “But I’m happier for my teammates. We put two teams out there and I don’t know the exact splits but I know there are some guys who ran some fast times. When we all put it together on the same day it’s going to happen.”
The high jump was another bright spot for the Hogs. Greg Martin won the event with an NCAA provisional-qualifying clearance of 7-1. Martin also made three attempts at 7-3 and had three close misses.
“It was a good night for our jumpers,” field events coach Dick Booth said. “Boris (Roslov) got it off to a good start this afternoon (in the heptathlon) and really had a good first day. I think the guys are starting to get excited. I think we are starting to feel like what we are trying to do is working. We are trying to be more aggressive and give ourselves room to go crazy. I’m really happy for these guys. It was a great start for Greg (Martin) and a personal best for Alain (Bailey).”
Martin, a seven-time All-SEC performer, will also be competing in the triple jump on Saturday. Martin is relied upon heavily for his senior leadership and for scoring points in three events.
“I had to get it done and everyone helped me get to this point where I am able to compete, be ready and perform,” Martin said. “The team needs me, especially the jumpers, and I have a responsibility as a senior and for team leadership. I had to get it done so I pushed all my little frustrations and injuries aside and did what I could.”
Freshmen Alain Bailey, who marked a provisional long jump last week, cleared a personal-best 6-11 and just missed the bar set at 7-1. Brent Rosson finished ninth with a height of 6-5.
In the heptathlon, Roslov won three of the four events he competed in, the 60-meter dash, long jump and high jump.
“I surprised myself in the long jump,” Roslov said. “I have never jumped that far in my life. The furthest before was a 22-10. In the high jump, after 6-3 or so, I kind of butchered my approach but I still managed to pull it off. Coach Booth kept hollering at me so I think I put it together with enough verbal motivation.”
Roslov opened the day taking the tape in the 60-meter dash with a clocking of 7.17 and continued with a first-place finish in the long jump (23-3.25). In the third event of the day, he tossed the shot put 34-11.75. He concluded day one with a clearance of 6-6.25. Roslov ended the day with 2,977 points.
“Coach (Booth) wants me to put some points together,” Roslov said about Saturday’s three events. “(Booth) doesn’t want me to come in here thinking I’m going to do something. He wants me to know what I am going to do and that’s what I am trying to do. If I have a chance to break 5,000 points, I’d be extremely happy.”
In the 200-meter dash timed finals, J-Mee Samuels finished first in his heat and eighth overall with a time of 21.73. Colt Davis made his Razorback debut and finished ninth overall and second in his heat to teammate Samuels with a time of 21.78.
The Razorback Invitational will resume Sat., Jan. 20, at the Randal Tyson Track Center. For complete results, visit www.hogwired.com.