COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 4 Arkansas men’s track and field team will face its final challenge of the indoor season this weekend in College Station, in pursuit of the program’s 42nd national title at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Razorbacks are back in Aggieland for the second time in in two weeks having finished as the runner-up at the the 2018 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships at the end of February.
“The game plan is have our guys get out there and perform to the best of their ability,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “Right now, we know who our qualifiers are and anyone of them can score; probably a little bit of luck and being fearless. I think that’s the name of the game for our guys. You have to go in there knowing you can win.”
Events to Watch (Friday):
• 12 p.m. | Heptathlon Day One
Razorback Entry: Gabe Moore (PR: 5,777 points)
• 5:30 p.m. | Long Jump Final
Razorback Entry: Laquan Nairn (PR: 7.87m/25-10)
• 6:05 p.m. / 7:35 p.m. | 60/200 Meters Semifinal
Razorback Entry: Kenzo Cotton (PR: 6.56/20.61)
• 6:25 p.m. | 400 Meters Semifinal
Razorbacks Entries: Obi Igbokwe (PR: 45.38) | Rhayko Schwartz (PR: 46.08)
• 8:05 p.m. | 5,000 Meters Final
Razorback Entry: Jack Bruce (PR: 13:43.34)
Friday Scoring Opportunities
Arkansas will rely on distance and field to get points on the board on day one of the championships with senior Jack Bruce contesting the 5,000 final and sophomore Laquan Nairn in the long jump. A three-time cross country All-American, Bruce had his breakthrough on the track at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships where he surprised the track and field world, out-kicking notable favorites to place second in the 5,000 by a narrow margin to Stanford’s Grant Fisher.
Survive and Advance
In addition to points secured, the Razorbacks will also need finalists. Two-time 60 and 200-meter national finalist Kenzo Cotton will lead that charge for the Hogs, looking to close out his career three-for-three. Cotton heads into his two seminfinal competitions with major momentum having finished first in the 60 and second in the 200 in the fastest conference championships in the nation.
“I’m sure he’s [Kenzo] looking for a win, I’m sure he’s looking to be a national champion,” Bucknam said. “That was such a big win for him. He won a big race. The 60-meter dash in the SEC is a marquis race; a heavy bout, and he was able to come away with that win. We all know the kind of athlete he’s been for us and he’s just a sign that consistency leads to championships”
Two-time combined events All-American Gabe Moore will be the first Razorback to see action, opening Arkansas’ weekend with the heptathlon 60-meter dash at 12 p.m. CT. The SEC heptathlon runner-up currently ranks at No. 7 in the country and has a best in the event of 5,777 points secured earlier this season at the Razorback Invitational. The two-day event will be live streamed on ESPN3 with Friday’s stream beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday’s stream beginning at 4 p.m..
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.