FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior Greg Martin and freshman Nkosinza Balumbu earned spots in the NCAA Mideast Regional with qualifying performances in field events on the final day of the Mount San Antonio College Relays on Saturday.
Martin won the university high jump with a clearance of 6-10 3/4. Martin won the event by two inches and qualified for the NCAA regional meet in the process. Balumbu also punched his ticket for regional competition with a third-place finish in the triple jump. The rookie from Union City, Calif., sailed 52-2 1/2 in his first triple jump event of the outdoor season.
“Greg and Nkosinza qualified and that is good,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “We are gradually starting to get some qualifiers. It was a really good weekend for us considering the weather. It was in the ‘40s and rainy most of the time. I was pleased with their efforts. We have some guys that we need to get back from injury in the next few weeks and we will be in better shape.”
Several Razorback runners were scheduled to compete on the track on Saturday, but traveled back to Arkansas early instead. The less than ideal conditions and Easter weekend combined to convince McDonnell to call it a weekend for running events after Friday’s action.
Saturday was a good day for former Razorbacks at the Mt. SAC Relays as well. Tyson Gay teamed up to lead the Arkansas Track Club to an impressive win in the 400-meter relay. Gay ran the third leg of the relay and took the lead before handing to Aaron Armstrong for the anchor leg. The squad clocked in at 38.19 to take the tape. It was the fastest time recorded in the world this season.
Former Razorback Said Ahmed won the invitational mile on Saturday. Ahmed, who finished his collegiate eligibility at the NCAA Indoors, won the outdoor mile in a time of 4:01.44.
Current Razorbacks will travel to the TCU Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, next weekend. Arkansas is trying to build towards the 2006 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Fayetteville on May 11-14. The Hogs will be looking for the 79th conference title in school history in the inaugural event at the new John McDonnell Field on the UA campus.