FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Friday evening at the Randal Tyson Track Center proved to be a productive one for the fourth-ranked Arkansas men’s track and field team as several student-athletes posted solid performances at the Arkansas Invitational. One of the best performances of the day came from Clive Pullen, who pulled off an NCAA-leading mark in the triple jump.
“I’m very pleased with how things went today,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “I appreciate the teams that came in and competed on our track. Most of our guys haven’t competed since last June or July so returning back to the track for the first time after a long training period … they did an outstanding job. The main thing we wanted to do was get through it unscathed with no injuries and that’s what we did, which is a testament to their hard work.”
Returning to the runway for the first time since his Olympic outing, Pullen wasted no time asserting his presence in the event, marking a national best of 16.21m/53-2 1/4 on his first attempt. The defending NCAA indoor champion went on to improve his lead on his next two attempts, capping his day with a solid effort of 16.66m/54-8 on his final jump.
“Today was supposed to be glorified practice so it wasn’t so much about distance,” Pullen said. “It was a technical day today and it just so happened that I got a PR. I’m feeling strong, so of course I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as it progresses and expecting bigger things.”
Along with Pullen, sophomores Sam Kempka (shot put) and Carlton Orange (400) each came out on top in their respective events. The Razorback men also rallied to close the night with a victory in the 1,600 relay off the heels of Kenzo Cotton, Jamarco Stephen, Obi Igbokwe and John Winn, besting Texas Tech with a time of 3 minutes, 9.98 seconds. The relay victory was Arkansas’ second NCAA lead of the night.
Cotton and Igbokwe both had commendable individual performances prior to the relay, finishing as runner-ups in the 60 and 200, respectively.
“As a whole, the whole sprint crew obviously ran some different events, but we still had success in some areas,” assistant coach Doug Case said. “For the opening meet, I believe all went well and I’m pretty assured that we’re going to have a good season.”
Additional Notable Performances
• 60: Roy Ejiakuekwu (6.76) and Josh Washington (6.81) sub-7 seconds 3-4 finishes
• 800m/Mile: A pair of unattached Razorbacks (Chase Pareti and Austen Dalquist) take invitational mid distance titles.
• Alumni Showcase: Marqueze Washington currently leads the world in the 200 following a 20.73 performance in the Olympic Development section. Andrew Irwin claimed the pole vault title, clearing almost 10 inches higher than the night’s runner-up.
Coach Bucknam’s squad will travel to Nashville next weekend for the Vanderbilt Invitational to preview the Commodores’ new facility ahead of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Championship. Arkansas will return back to the Randal Tyson Track Center in two weeks when it hosts the nationally-loaded Razorback Invitational.
January 13, 2017
Randal Tyson Track Center (Fayetteville, Ark.)
2. Kenzo Cotton – 6.70
3. Roy Ejiakuekwu – 6.76
4. Josh Washington – 6.81
9. Kevin Harris – 6.92
10. Brandon Workman – 7.06
2. Obi Igbokwe – 20.87
3. Larry Donald – 21.69
15. Cameron Case – 23.61
1. Carlton Orange – 47.91
2. Cameron Griffith – 1:55.53
4. Eric Janise – 1:56.49
6. John Winn – 1:57.75
2. Ethan Moehn – 2:27.27
3. Kyle Levermore – 2:27.58
6. Noah Findlay – 2:30. 42
7. Chris Mooneyham – 2:30.68
2. Larry Donald – 7.97
3. Kemar Mowatt – 8.01
10. Lane Austell – 8.42
11. Gabe Moore – 8.56
16. Derek Jacobus – 9.13
1. Cotton/Stephen/Igbokwe/Winn – 3:09.98
3. Ejiakuekwu/Mowatt/Washington/Orange – 3:11.46
2. Ken LeGassey – 2.10m/6-10.75
3. Brendon Rivera – 2.05m/6-8.75
7. Gabe Moore – 4.45m/14-7.25
8. Lane Austell – 4.45m/14-7.25
9. Derek Jacobus – 4.30m/14-1.25
1. Clive Pullen – 16.66m/54-8
3. Rubin Owens – 15.55m/51-0.25
1. Sam Kempka – 16.28m/53-5
3. Jeff Rogers – 15.99m/52-5.5
8. Brad Culp – 13.56m/44-6
9. Gabe Moore – 13.44m/44-1.25
10. Derek Jacobus – 12.30m/40-4.25
12. Lane Austell – 10.96m/35-11.5
2. Erich Sullins – 18.00m/59-0.75
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.