FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Following a weekend that included record breaking performances at the NCAA West Preliminary, the University of Arkansas men’s track and field team has returned to the top five of the USTFCCCA rankings, taking the No. 5 spot in the pre-NCAA ranking. Team ranking was based on the number of qualifiers to the NCAA Championships. Arkansas returns to competition June 10-13 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Field events led the way for the Razorbacks on the opening day of the west regional meet in Austin. Fresh off a runner-up performance at the SEC Championships where he posted a season-best jump of 8.00m/26-3, Jarrion Lawson was first to qualify for Eugene and did so on his first jump with a mark of 7.96m/26-1.5. High jumper Ken LeGassey followed suit in more dramatic fashion earning his ticket on his last attempt, recording a personal-best mark of 2.20m/7-2.5 in the process.
Day two brought further success for Lawson as he traded spikes from jump to sprint. Newcomer to the 100 meters this season, Lawson bested his time of 10.19 from the SEC Championships to advance with a wind-aided 10.13 finishing ninth overall in the field. In the distance events, current collegiate leader in the 3,000-meter steeplechase Stanley Kebenei ran to an easy victory in heat one of the event getting the automatic nod to Eugene.
The Razorbacks notched more qualifiers in both track and field events on the final day of competition at Mike A. Myers stadium. The Arkansas men started the night with a school-record performance by the quartet of Omar McLeod, Lawson, Kenzo Cotton and Marqueze Washington in the 4×100-meter relay running 38.66 to finish first overall in the region.
Following a victory in the relay, McLeod returned to the track for the 110-meter hurdles where he clocked a time 13.22 to finish No. 1 in the event and get the automatic bid. The meet saw three more top performances and automatic bids in a seventh-place finish in the triple jump for Clive Pullen, third-place finish in the 5,000 meters for current collegiate leader Kemoy Campbell, and a season-best 3:04.06 for the returning quartet of Cotton, Lawson, McLeod, and Washington in the 4×400-meter relay.
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