FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 12 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team heads west this weekend for the 53rd Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif. The slate of events includes action in the open, invitational and Olympic development divisions. Competition for the Razorbacks begins Thursday night with 10,000 meters.
"We got a lot of reps in," head coach Chris Bucknam said after last weekend’s Texas Relays. "Our guys are putting a lot of work in and pulling some double duty but we think in the long run, it’s going to help us."
Arkansas is scheduled to have 31 entries in 11 events this weekend in California. With the exception of Justin Holmes in the discus, the focus will be on the track. The Razorbacks will be joined at Mt. SAC by five other ranked teams-No. 3 Texas Tech, No. 7 USC, No. 9 Texas, No. 15 BYU and No. 25 Alabama.
The Razorbacks have four top-10 national marks in four events. Raymond Higgs currently owns the No. 4 long jump in the country. His mark is also No. 1 in the SEC and tops among all freshmen in the nation. On the track, Marek Niit and Eric Fernandez are ranked sixth in the 100 meters and 10K, respectively. Arkansas’ 4×100 relay has clocked the No. 8 time in the NCAA.
Last weekend, Arkansas won the distance-medley relay on the final day of competition at the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin. The DMR quartet of Tom Cattin-Masson, Travis Southard, Chris Bilbrew and Dorian Ulrey took first place in the event. The Razorbacks have now racked up 69 Texas Relays titles in their program history. For his showing in the long jump, Higgs was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.
With the release of the April 12 USTFCCCA national poll, Arkansas moved up one spot to a season-high No. 12 ranking; the Razorbacks began the season at No. 14. The SEC continues to have the most teams ranked inside the top 25 with nine, including top-ranked Florida, No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Mississippi State, No. 18 Auburn, No. 20 Ole Miss, No. 21 Georgia, No. 22 South Carolina and No. 25 Alabama.
The Razorbacks return to their home track April 22-23 for the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville. For meet-day coverage and more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: Notes 15_Mt. SAC Relays.pdf