Razorbacks Earn 14 New Regional Qualifying Tim
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas had a highly successful day at their only home outdoor meet for the year, the McDonnell Invitational, when it was able to tally 14 new NCAA regional qualifying times and marks on John McDonnell Field under clear skies and warm temperatures.
“I would have to believe that this is the best weather we’ve had for the meet in the 30 years I’ve been coaching,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “We had great performances. The 1,500 did pretty well and the 800 ran good too. A lot of our guys had PR’s. Ahmad Carroll had both in the 100 and 200, and Maurice Bridges had a big one in the 400 hurdles. Overall, it was a good meet and all the athletes are happy.”
The sprinters and hurdlers got the Hogs off to a good start when sophomore Ahmad Carroll ran career-best times in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. In the finals of the 100 he ran a time of 10.30 for second place and the regional qualification, then went on to run a regional qualifying time of 20.95 in the 200-meter dash after he finished fifth.
Junior Michael Thomas and senior Eddie Jackson both qualified for the finals of the 110-meter hurdles after they finished first in their heats with times of 13.95 and 14.03, respectively. In the finals they finished two, three with season-best times of 13.71 and 13.82.
Senior Josh Landreth ran a career-best and regional qualifying time of 52.33 in the unseeded heat of the 400-meter hurdles to cross the line in first, while junior transfer Maurice Bridges came in third in his respective heat. Improving at every meet, Bridges posted a career-best time of 50.92 to qualify for the NCAA regionals and is now seventh on UA’s all-time top 10 outdoor list. Freshman Brad Dittoe also ran in the event and finished seventh (53.22).
The 400-meter relay team of senior Richard Smith, Thomas, Jackson and Carroll put together a second place finish with a regional qualifying time of 40.26.
The 1,500-meter run had a dominant contingent of Razorbacks athletes as they captured four of the top five spots with NCAA regional qualifying times. Junior Alistair Cragg took first place with a career-best 3:39.24. Sophomore James Hatch improved his career-best by nearly five seconds when he came in second with 3:41.76. Sophomore Michael Taylor also registered a career-best 3:42.41 as he crossed the line in fourth and in his first 1,500-meter race senior Daniel Lincoln posted a 3:43.25.
Three Razorbacks regionally qualified in the 800-meter run. Junior Robbie Stevens led the Razorbacks as he crossed the line in second with a career-best time of 1:47.71. Sophomore Said Ahmed was next in third with 1:48.19 and senior Chad Grundy crossed the line in sixth with a career-best 1:50.78.
Five Hogs ran in the 3,000 meters with junior Chris Mulvaney taking first place with a time of 8:12.40. Junior Westley Alkin was third (8:15.86), freshman Luis Bordes came in sixth (8:21.01), sophomore Jason Sandfort finished eighth (8:29.39) and senior Patrick Thomas crossed the line in 11th (8:37.94).
The long jumpers swept the top two spots as they gained three new NCAA regional qualifiers. Senior Ramon Washington jumped a career-best mark of 26-0.75 for first place and Smith was right behind in second with a mark of 25-2.75. Sophomore transfer Jaanus Uudmae also earned a regional mark of 24-6.50 as he came in fifth. Washington also competed in the triple jump and finished fourth (47-11.75).
In other field events action sophomore Cory Oldham cleared 6-7.50 in the high jump to place fourth. Three UA athletes competed in the pole vault. Sophomore Jimmy Duke was second with a height of 15-7.00, senior Josh Roberts and junior Tom Crowder tied for sixth (15-1.00).
Freshman Tony Ugoh threw 154-02 in the discus to finish fifth and freshman Eric Brown threw a mark of 201-11 in the javelin to come in second, while junior Tom Crowder finished fourth with 177-11.
In the unseeded portion of competition freshman David Wittenmyer and junior Silverus Kimeli ran in the 800-meter run and posted times of 1:55.30 (12th) and 1:56.35 (14th), respectively. In the 3,000-meter run sophomore transfer Matt Gunn turned in a time of 8:44.67 for fifth place.
Sophomore Chason Pompey came in seventh (49.67) in the 400-meter dash and 12th (22.37) in the 200-meter dash.
Next week Arkansas will travel to Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays on April 17-19, before heading to Philadelphia, Penn., on April 25-26, for the Penn Relays.
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