Razorbacks Win 4xmile Relay Title on Last Day
BY ANDRES FOCIL
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – A day after winning the distance medley relay title Arkansas once again proved to be dominant as they won their 16th 4xmile relay title in 20 years at the Penn Relays. The Razorbacks finished first with a time of 16:09.84 in front of a vocal crowd of more than 50,000.
“I’ll tell you one thing-there are no guarantees that you’ll win because you’re young,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “But if we keep working we’ll continue to take it. It was a good speed workout for all these guys, because in two weeks we’ll have conference. I am most happy about Michael Taylor. It’s a lot of pressure for a freshman to go out there and run. He ran a 4:04 in the lead-off with the big boys today. They all did a great job, but that’s a lot of pressure on him.”
Freshman Michael Taylor immediately put Arkansas into the lead with a career-best 4:04.70 split. He handed off to junior Daniel Lincoln. Lincoln held the lead in a career-best split of 3:57.70. In the third leg sophomore Chris Mulvaney was able to keep pace on the leader’s shoulder, Jonathon Riley of Stanford. On the final turn Mulvaney rallied past him to give the Razorbacks a commanding lead once again. Mulvaney ran a 4:01.80 split and passed the baton to sophomore Alistair Cragg. Cragg continued to extend the large lead over Stanford and Villanova, and finished with a 4:04.20 split.
Their final time of 16:09.84 places them as the third fastest 4xmile team in the 108-year history of the Penn Relays. The top three spots are all now held by Arkansas teams from 1999, 2000 and 2002, respectively.
In a close 4×800-meter relay the Razorbacks finished second to Georgetown with a time of 7:20.91. Senior Andrew Beasley ran the first leg of the relay in the middle of the pack with a 1:51.94 split. He handed off to sophomore Robbie Stevens. Stevens pulled Arkansas closer to the front with a time of 1:49.10. Freshman James Hatch was next to take the baton. On the first turn he took the lead for the Hogs with a 1:50.25 split. Hatch passed off to freshman Said Ahmed. Ahmed maintained Arkansas’ lead until the final straightway with a split time of 1:48.57.
In the finals of the 110-meter hurdles junior Eddie Jackson and sophomore Michael Thomas competed. Thomas finished third with a provisional qualifying time of 13.88. Thomas had already earned a provisional qualifying time of 13.74 at the McDonnell Invitational on April 13. Jackson finished sixth with a time of 14.07.
After Arkansas returns from Philadelphia, Pa. they will rest for one week before traveling to Starkville, Miss. for the 2002 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 9-12.
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