FAYETTEVILLE – In the final weekend before the national championships, the No. 3 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team will host the Arkansas Last Chance meet Friday, March 4, at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. Competition begins with the field events at1 p.m.(CT) while the running events start at 5 p.m.
"We’re getting our kid’s systems and routines back to normal," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "That take a few days, physically and mentally, to get that back (after the SEC Championships. We host our Last Chance meet Friday and with the way the track has run and the times that have been produced on it, we expect a pretty good field. We could sneak a couple more qualifiers into the national meet."
The Razorbacks are scheduled to have entries in 10 events at Friday’s meet. Cobi Hamilton will run the 200 meters while Hunter Bourke and Corey Korcurek are set to compete at 400 meters. The 800-meter field will be loaded with Arkansas runners taking up seven spots on the track. In other running events, Caleb Cross (60-meter hurdles), Eric Fernandez (3,000 meters) and Solomon Haile (3,000 meters) will look to improve their national standing in their respective events.
Raymond Higgs is penciled into the high jump and long jump competitions. He’ll be joined by Nii Ayi in the long jump field. In the pole vault, Kevin Lazas will head up Arkansas’ entries that also include Sam Ewing and Stuart Sparks.
Through the first six competitions of the 2011 indoor season, the Razorbacks have collected 10 NCAA automatic qualifiers spread among six student-athletes and two relays. Arkansas owns the nation’s top time in the 4×400-meter relay with its performance at the SEC Championships. The foursome of Ben Skidmore, Marek Niit, Chris Bilbrew and Neil Braddy combined for a world-leading time of 3:05.13.
In addition to the mile and distance-medley relays, Arkansas’ individual qualifiers are Braddy (400m), Niit (200m, 400m), Skidmore (400m), Tarik Batchelor (long jump, triple jump), Lashawn Butler (200m) and Duncan Phillips (mile).
In the March 1 release of the USTFCCCA national rankings, Arkansas moved into its season-high position as the third-ranked team in the country. Regionally, the Razorbacks are the top-ranked team on the South Central list. With the aid of five teams ranked inside the top 25, including the nation’s top three, the SEC maintains its lead in the conference index rankings ahead of the Big 12 and Big Ten, respectively.
The meet will serve as the team’s final preparation for the NCAA Championships, held March 11-12 in College Station, Texas. For home meet information and meet-day coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: Notes 9_Arkansas Last Chance (m).pdf