FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas Razorbacks Dorian Ulrey, Scott MacPherson and Lane Boyer dipped below the NCAA provisional time in the 3,000 meters for No. 7 men’s track and field on day two of the Texas A&M SEC-Big 12-PAC-10 Challenge, in College Station, on Saturday.
"That was a solid performance in the 3,000 meters," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "We were running for auto times but those are good provisional marks. We don’t have our whole team here because of the weather and that was unfortunate. But the guys who were here gave a great effort and we got some things accomplished."
Seniors Ulrey and MacPherson took turns leading before Oregon’s Luke Puskedra took the lead with about 400 meters to go. Ulrey regained the lead on the final lap and crossed the finish line in a time of 7:55.23. His time is an NCAA provisional qualifier, ranks No. 3 in the world, No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 1 in the SEC. Ulrey led a 1-4-5 finish for Arkansas in the event.
"This weekend was about staying relaxed and finding a good rhythym," Ulrey said. "The anchor on the DMR felt really easy last night and I wanted to make sure I had enough for the 3K today. It was a great run with Scott and Lane. Running together like that and sharing the work load is a special thing. We took a good step today and there’s still more work to do."
A year ago this weekend, Ulrey clocked a 7:50.86 to win the 3,000 meters at the UW Invitational and he anchored the distance medley relay to a school-record time of 9:28.35 with a 3:54 anchor leg. Ulrey also anchored the Arkansas DMR Friday night in College Station. The quartet clocked a time of 9:33.12 with Ulrey’s 3:56 anchor leg.
MacPherson was fourth in the 3,000-meter race. He clocked a personal-best time of 7:58.32. His time is an NCAA provisional qualifier, ranks No. 2 in the SEC and No. 6 in the NCAA. Sophomore Boyer finished fifth in 8:00.25. His time is an NCAA provisional qualifier, a 13-second personal best, ranks No. 3 in the SEC and No. 8 in the NCAA.
Senior Patrick Russell was 12th with a time of 8:12.20, a personal best and No. 4 in the SEC. Freshman Solomon Haile, in his first collegiate 3,000 meters, finished 14th with a time of 8:19.26 (No. 8 in the SEC).
In the 600 yards, freshman Drew Butler finished seventh with a time of 1:11.25. Sophomore Ben Skidmore finished ninth in the 400 meters (48.45). Junior Chris Bilbrew clocked a time of 1:51.44 to finish fifth in the 800 meters. In the mile, junior Michael Chinchar was sixth (4:07.10) and freshman Omar Abdi was seventh (4:10.22).
This evening in Fayetteville, Ulrey will be honored with a scholar-athlete award at the annual Red Tie Awards dinner.
Arkansas will compete next Feb. 5-6 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, at the Armory Track Center, in New York, N.Y.