FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In front of a crowd of 4,519, the Razorbacks collected five NCAA provisional-qualifying marks on day one of the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
“Mickey Cobrin ran very well in the mile,” head coach John McDonnell said. “The 800 meters was pretty good. (Chris) Bilbrew ran very well for a freshman. Tyler Hill has missed some practices because of med school interviews so that has been a lot for him. He’s running well and he’s starting to get back to the drawing board.”
“I was a little disappointed in the jumpers with us being at home and everything,” McDonnell said. “They need to step it up or we don’t have a prayer.”
Tyler Hill ran a gutsy 5,000 meters. Taken out by former Hog Peter Kosgei, another former Hog, Alistair Cragg, surged to lead and never looked back. Hill and current Razorbacks Scott MacPherson and James Strang battled among the pack a sizeable distance behind Cragg.
As Cragg took off, the second group of runners fell back, including the current Hogs. Hill dug down to deep to fight back. He finished fifth, fourth among collegians, with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 13:57.07. The time is a personal best, leads the SEC by 16 seconds and ranks second in the nation.
“I was hoping for a little faster, but it was a lot tougher than I expected tonight,” Hill said. “The guys came out quickly. I let a gap form and had a lot of work to do from there. I wanted to go under 14 minutes, but I was a little off the automatic (qualifying time). I need to go a little faster. Last year it took right around 13:50 to get in. I’m hoping for the best. I’ve never run in a race this big in my life. I was pretty nervous.”
Chris Bilbrew and Alex McClary clocked NCAA provisional-qualifying marks in the 800 meters. After Razorback Kent Austell set a great pace, Bilbrew and McClary kicked it in to gear to get the qualifying times. Bilbrew finished fourth with a 1:50.27, also a personal best. McClary was right behind him with a 1:50.48. Former Hog James Hatch won the event with a time of 1:47.92.
“I wanted to break 1:50,” Bilbrew said. “I thought I could get it this week but I fell short, so I’m going to have to be satisfied with what I ran. Running with James Hatch in practice has helped. When I run, I try to put in my mind that I’m going to win.”
Micky Cobrin found the first NCAA mark of the event. Running in the Olympic Development mile, Cobrin led for most of the race, after being paced by fellow Razorback Daniel LaCava, before being passed by two runners on the final turn. He held on until the finish line to earn a third-place finish. He clocked a time of 4:00.87, an NCAA provisional-qualifying time. His time is the 13th best in the nation and ranks second in the SEC.
“If I could do the race over, I would have waited a little longer to make my move and I might have won,” Cobrin said. “By leaving early, I let the pace get too fast. If I make my move at the right time, I should become stronger and stronger.”
J-Mee Samuels competed in the invitational 60 meters. In a packed field, he finished fifth, third among collegians, with a time of 6.75.
Former Hog and American indoor record holder in the 200 meters, Wallace Spearmon won the Tyson 200 meters with a time of 20.19. His clocking is the fastest time in the world this year and ranks No. 5 all time.
Mychael Stewart finished fifth in the long jump. He recorded a leap of 24-10, an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark. It’s his second of the season but doesn’t top his season best of 25-0. Daniel Quinn finished eighth in the event with a mark of 24-4.25.
Saturday’s events will start at 10 a.m. A $5 admission charge will be in effect all day Saturday. Doors will open one hour prior to the first event. ESPN will be showing Friday night’s events tape delayed Sunday, February 17, 4-6 p.m. Live results can be found at www.Hogwired.com.
For complete details of the Tyson Invitational, visit
www.hogwired.com or www.tysoninvitational.org.
Download: Tyson – Day 1 – HTML.pdf