NAMPA, Idaho – The No. 2 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team will cap its 2012 indoor season this weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa, Idaho. The two-day national meet will be contested at the Jacksons Indoor Track. Competition begins Friday at 11 a.m. (CT) with day one of the heptathlon and continues Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
The 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships will be streamed live on ESPN3.com Friday, March 9 from 6:30-10:45 p.m. (CT) and Saturday, March 10 from 7-10:15 p.m. NCAA.com and broncosports.com will stream portions of the meet not covered by ESPN3 beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. A tape delay broadcast of the national meet will air Sunday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
"Heading into the weekend, Friday is a big deal for us," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "There’s a lot going on that day so we need to get our qualifiers through to the finals. It’s no different than the conference meet. We can’t worry about Saturday yet because we first have to take care of business Friday."
Arkansas will have 10 entries at the NCAA Indoor Championships with eight individual, two relays and eight entries. The Razorbacks are tied for the second-most entries (10) at the national meet.
Four of Arkansas’ 10 entries at the national meet are NCAA automatic qualifiers with Andrew Irwin in the pole vault, Kevin Lazas in the heptathlon, Gunnar Nixon in the heptathlon and the team’s 4×400-meter relay. Entering the championship event, the Razorbacks have nation-leading marks in the pole vault, heptathlon and 4×400-meter relay.
Arkansas will also be represented at the national meet by Neil Braddy at 400 meters, Caleb Cross in the 60-meter hurdles, Akheem Gauntlett at 200 meters, Noah Kittelson in the high jump, Marek Niit at 400 meters and the distance-medley relay team. In the final weekend of qualifying, Kittelson and the Razorbacks’ DMR posted the marks that got them into the championship event. Gauntlett, Kittelson and Nixon will be making their NCAA debuts.
The Razorbacks have won 19 NCAA indoor team titles with the last victory coming at the 2006 national meet. Arkansas has also collected 53 NCAA event titles. The program’s last individual champion was Dorian Ulrey, the 2010 national champion at 3,000 meters.
In the March 6 release of the USTFCCCA national rankings, Arkansas stayed steady as the No. 2 team in the nation. This week’s rankings are based solely on Monday’s release of the declared entries into the NCAA Championships. The SEC continues to lead the country with seven ranked teams. Joining the Razorbacks are top-ranked Florida, No. 4 LSU, No. 6 Mississippi State, No. 17 Georgia, No. 18 Auburn, No. 20 Ole Miss.
In addition to the video streams, weekend coverage of the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships will include live results via FlashResults.com and an interactive blog. For more information regarding Razorback track and field and University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkasasRazorbacks.com.