FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 15 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team collected a second-place finish and a pair of relay qualifiers Friday at the 117th Penn Relays in Philadelphia. The Razorbacks crossed second in the distance-medley relay and added qualifiers for Saturday’s finals in the 4×200- and 4×400-meter relays. Day three of the prestigious annual event begins at noon (CT) with the running of the 4xMile relay.
The DMR foursome of Tom Cattin-Masson (3:01.11), Marek Niit (45.85), Duncan Phillips (1:49.05) and Dorian Ulrey (4:02.43) combined for a time of 9:38.40, just .47 behind eventual winner Villanova (9:37.93). The top five teams were bunched together to begin the final lap with the result not determined until the final sprint down the home stretch.
In the team’s first relay action of the weekend, the team of Neil Braddy (21.03), Ben Skidmore (20.95), LaShawn Butler (19.95) and Niit (20.28) turned in a collective time of 1:22.63 to qualify fifth overall during the heats of the 4×200-meter relay. The championship final is scheduled for Saturday at 1:45 p.m. (CT). The Razorbacks will be joined in the final by LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Indiana and Clemson.
Arkansas also picked up a qualifier in the 4×400-meter relay. Skidmore (48.59), Travis Southard (46.65), Chris Bilbrew (47.32) and Braddy (45.95) qualified fourth overall with their season-best time of 3:08.83. Having moved into fourth during Bilbrew’s leg, the Razorbacks got a strong anchor from Braddy who raced past two runners in the final 90 meters to position his team for the final. Saturday’s final is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT) and will also include LSU, Texas A&M, JC Smith, UTech, Texas Tech, George Mason and Texas.
The sprint-medley relay team of Caleb Cross, Butler, Bilbrew and Leoman Momoh finished fourth overall in the final event of the day. The Razorbacks ran to a time of 3:23.03 in the Championship of America section of the race.
In his first competition since the outdoor opener March 25 in Austin, Tarik Batchelor finished fifth in the championships section of the long jump. He got out to a day’s best mark of 25-6.75 on his final attempt of the competition, adding six inches to previous best and moving from a would-be eighth position to fifth. Teammate Raymond Higgs finished in 12th place with a jump of 23-9.5.
Dwayne Golbek and Noah Kittelson finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the college division of the high jump in the team’s first result of the day. In their Penn Relays debut, both posted final clearances of 6-9.75 but Golbek gets the higher finish with fewer misses throughout the competition. The clearance is a personal best for Golbek.
Running in the preliminary round of the 110-meter hurdles, Cross finished sixth in his heat and 17th overall with a time of 14.45. He did not qualify for Saturday’s championship final.
Competition at the 2011 Penn Relays concludes with scheduled finals in the 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and 4xMile relays, along with field action in the championship sections of the high jump and triple jump. For continued meet-day coverage and more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.