FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s track and field team will begin their 2011 indoor campaign Friday afternoon with the Arkansas Invitational. Competition begins with the men’s shot put at 1 p.m. at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Oklahoma and Ole Miss are scheduled to compete against the Razorbacks in addition to other individual and unattached entries.
"What we’re trying to do Friday is get our kids back into a routine of competing," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "The main thing right now is to get into the atmosphere of the meet, get into the routines of our warm ups and cool downs and get through without any injuries."
Running events begin at 3 p.m. with the preliminary rounds of the 60-meter hurdles and 60 meters. Finals are set to begin at 3:50 p.m. with the running of the men’s 400 meters. For live results and home meet information, log to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
In the preseason poll released Thursday by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA), Arkansas received a No. 13 ranking. The Razorbacks join Florida (No. 1), LSU (2), Auburn (11) and Georgia (14) as the five teams representing the Southeastern Conference. Oklahoma, one of Friday’s competitors, is ranked 18th in the poll.
The 2011 track and field roster features seven All-Americans-Tarik Batchelor, Chris Bilbrew, Drew Butler, Caleb Cross, Brede Raa Ellingsen, Ben Skidmore and Dorian Ulrey-from last year’s team that captured the SEC indoor title and finished fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"We’re probably a week later in starting our practices than we have been in the past," Bucknam said. "Mainly because we look at June as a long ways off and we wanted to make sure our kids had a good, solid break after cross country and a good fall season."
Entering his third season at the helm of the Arkansas track and field team, Bucknam has guided the Razorbacks to two Southeastern Conference indoor titles, extending the program’s active streak to six. Arkansas also won the 2009 SEC Outdoor title under Bucknam.
Arkansas’ 2011 roster also features eight student-athletes staying close to compete for their home state’s flagship university. That group includes Hunter Bourke (Fayetteville), Neil Braddy (Fort Smith), Jordan Bryant (Conway), Cross (Newport), Cameron Efurd (Rogers), Samuel Ewing (Glenwood), Aaron Hamilton (Rogers) and Caleb Hanson (Fort Smith).
Download: ArkInvite event sked_1.6.11.pdf