Razorbacks will Look for Impressive Times at M
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Instead of concentrating on several relays like Arkansas did last weekend at the Texas Relays, the Hogs are traveling to Walnut, Calif., in search of regional qualifying times at the Mt. SAC Relays. Arkansas has five individuals and one relay qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, but will use the Mt. SAC Relays to give its’ sprinters and distance runners a chance to pick up a regional standard.
“I want them to run with confidence and get good times this weekend,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “They need to know they can do it and we have to make every meet count. The weather at Mt. SAC is usually good and there’s always good competition there.”
On Friday most of the distance events will be contested. UA will load the 5,000 meters with six Razorbacks. Junior Josphat Boit and sophomore Peter Kosgei are entered in the invitational section, while senior Jason Sandfort, juniors Jose Campos and Marc Rodrigues and freshman Shawn Forrest will see action in the university division.
Junior Seth Summerside and sophomore Adam Perkins will take to the track for the 1,500 meters with expectations of meeting the 3:48.21 regional cutoff. Junior Harun Iman and sophomore Brian Roe will compete in two 800-meter races, one on the Strehle Track at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational in Claremont, Calif., and the other in the Olympic Development (O.D.) section at Mt. SAC. Junior David Wittenmyer will join them for the O.D 800 at Mt. SAC and junior Brad Dittoe is entered in the open 400 meters.
Junior Tony Ugoh is the only UA field event athlete to compete on Friday. He will throw the discus and hammer at Pomona. On Saturday will go back over to the Mt. SAC Relays for another opportunity in the discus. Two other field athletes will see competition on Saturday, including senior P.J. Brown in the pole vault and sophomore Greg Martin in the long jump.
On Sunday many UA athletes will have the chance to compete against top professionals in the invitational events. Sophomore Wallace Spearmon Jr. is aiming for a repeat performance this year after he ran an NCAA leading 200-meter time of 20.35 in 2004. Senior Omar Brown and Terry Gatson will have their shot to go for fast times in the invitational 400 meters with world champion Felix Sanchez in the blocks as well.
The same 4×400-meter relay team of Brown, senior Tyson Gay, Spearmon and Gatson that put together a time of 3:04.86 at the Texas Relays will look to shave some seconds off in the final event of the meet.
Senior Jaanus Uudmae (triple jump), junior Eric Brown (javelin) and Martin (high jump) are also entered in the invitational divisions of their respective events. Each has already gained regional qualifications, but want to make a strong impression in front of the Mt. SAC crowd.
Freshman Michael Grant will line up in the university/open sections of the 100 and 200-meter dashes and senior Cory Oldham is set to compete in the university/open division of the high jump.
The Razorbacks will return from California on Monday and next week they will get to enjoy staying at home for their only home meet of the year. The John McDonnell Invitational is scheduled for April 23 at John McDonnell Field. The first field event will begin at 9 a.m. and the running events will start at 1 p.m.
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