FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Track Hogs notched four NCAA provisional-qualifying marks at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational on Friday at the Tyson Track Center. Four freshmen also made their Arkansas debuts at the meet.
“I thought we had a good opening meet, a chance to get our feet wet,” head coach John McDonnell said. “We got some provisional marks and we won some races. That’s what is important. It’s good to see our guys fighting to win races and not giving up. It’s still early in the season but we are in decent shape.”
Sophomore Alain Bailey opened his 2008 indoor season with an NCAA provisional-qualifying clearance of 7-0.25 to finish second in the high jump. Bailey set a personal best with the height, marking the first time in his Razorback career to clear seven feet. Tonight’s mark sits at No. 3 on the national list.
“I had a pretty good day today,” Bailey said. “My height was a personal best and a provisional-qualifying mark. My knee feels good coming off the surgery. I think it’s a good performance for this early in the season.”
Junior Alex McClary posted a second-place finish in the 800 meters in a time of 1:49.28, an NCAA provisional-qualifying time. It was his first indoor race as a Razorback. Former Arkansas All-American James Hatch won the event in a time of 1:48.93.
“I think it was a great opening race,” McClary said. “Everything went pretty much as well as it could have. For opening race, it was great and it was great to finally run in an Arkansas jersey.”
Nkosinza Balumbu had an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark in the triple jump with a leap of 51-5.5. The jump landed the junior in second place behind Jonathan Johnson of TCU. Tonight’s mark sits at No. 3 on the national list.
The Razorbacks’ final provisional-qualifying effort came from freshman Spencer McCorkel in the pole vault. McCorkel cleared the bar set at 17-0.75 and finished the event in second place. Tonight’s mark sits at No. 4 on the national list.
“This is my first meet and I’m very satisfied,” McCorkel said. “I was jittery and nervous in the beginning but it worked out well. I just wanted to make the first bar and get everything worked out. I wasn’t shooting for a big mark, I just wanted to take care of business.”
Daniel LaCava held off TCU’s Festus Kigen down the stretch to win the 3,000-meter run in a time of 8:05.01, missing an NCAA provisional-qualifying time by just .01 seconds. Rounding the final curve, LaCava held a slight lead when Kigen came up on his shoulder at the top of the stretch. The two runners raced the final 50 meters stride for stride with LaCava beating Kigen to the line by .04 seconds.
Mychael Stewart ran 6.80 seconds to take home second place in the 60 meters. The top five runners were separated by just 0.1 second. Stewart qualified for the event final by posting a time of 6.82 seconds in the preliminary round.
In the mile run, Andy McClary and Tyler Hill finished second and third, respectively, behind former Razorback All-American Josphat Boit. McClary crossed the line in a time of 4:07.57, followed closely by Hill and his time of 4:07.79, a personal best for the senior by more than five seconds. Scott MacPherson was sixth in a time of 4:10.38 and freshman Michael Chinchar ran 4:11.11 for a seventh-place finish. Boit won the race in a time of 4:03.83.
In the long jump, the Razorbacks claimed three of the top 10 positions with Daniel Quinn leading the way with a fourth-place finish after a jump of 24-5.75. Along with his silver finish in the 60 meters, Stewart was sixth with a 24-0.75 mark.
Arkansas will return to the track Jan. 25-26 for the Razorback Invitational. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Razorback track and field.
Download: Ark Invite HTML results.pdf.dat