Razorbacks Falter on First Day of Texas Relays
BY ANDRES FOCIL
AUSTIN, Texas – The top-ranked Razorbacks began competition at the 78th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, but were unable to bring home a relay title. Arkansas had a team entered in the 4×800-meter relay, but came up short with a sixth-place performance.
“It’s our first meet and they didn’t compete as hard as they should have,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “A few did ok, but I’m not worried about it. We’re still going after that national championship in June.”
Back-to-back 1:50 opening legs by Southern California proved too much for the Razorback 4×800-meter relay team as they came in sixth place (7:31.53), ending a three-year winning streak by the Hogs. Sophomore Brian Roe took the first leg for UA and was running in fourth place as he handed off to sophomore Adam Perkins. Perkins maintained the position as he passed the baton to junior Harun Iman.
Iman fought through windy conditions and pull closer to the second and third place runners from Oklahoma and Oregon, but as he gave the stick to senior James Hatch the Hogs found themselves back in fifth place. Hatch brought the team across the line with their final sixth-place showing.
The 400-meter hurdles were next as juniors Brad Dittoe and David Wittenmyer took to the track. Both finished third in their respective heats, but were unable to advance to the finals. Wittenmyer powered to a new career-best time of 53.13, while Dittoe turned in a time of 53.62.
Junior Tony Ugoh was the only UA athlete in a field event on Thursday and was competing in the hammer throw for the first time as a Razorback. Unfortunately, he fouled on all three attempts.
A pair of Razorbacks wrapped up the evening with the 5,000 meters. Junior Matt Gunn finished ninth with a time of 15:18.75 and junior Abdi Dubed was 13th (15:33.83).
Junior Jimmy Duke competed in the decathlon and finished in 12th place with a point total of 6,349. On Wednesday he netted 3,207 points after recording season-best performances in four of five events. Duke ran 11.60 in the 100-meter dash (732), posted a 19-4.00 in the long jump (563), threw 36-1.25 in the shot put (546), cleared 5-9.75 in the high jump (602) and turned in a time of 51.11 in the 400 meters (764).
On Thursday he gained 3,142 more points as he ran 16.76 in the 110-meter hurdles (650), threw 110-00 in the discus (534), registered a height of 15-7.00 in the pole vault (834), tossed the javelin 152-00 (534) and finished with a time of 4:54.83 in the 1,500 meters (590).
On Friday relays will highlight the day, with Hogs lining up to run in the sprint medley and 4×1,500-meter relay.
Open running events include the 100-meter dash with Grant and sophomore Creighton Kiper and junior Jose Campos will run in his first 3,000-meter steeplechase as a Razorback.
Several field events are also scheduled for Friday. Senior Jaanus Uudmae and sophomore Greg Martin will begin the day in the long jump, while freshman Chessly Johnson will see action in the triple jump. Ugoh is doubling up for the weekend and will return to throw the discus.
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