AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 7 Arkansas men’s track and field team found success in the sand on day one of the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin. Long jumpers Harrison Schrage and Andreas Trajkovski were the first two NCAA qualifiers of the weekend, following solid performances on the runway.
Portland, Oregon native, Schrage became the first Razorback freshman since United States Olympian Jarrion Lawson, to qualify for the outdoor national meet in his first season. Schrage opened up his long jump series with the seventh best jump of the day but was systematically bumped down as fellow competitors posted improved marks. Remaining aware of the mission at hand Schrage shook off a big second-attempt foul, marking 7.76m/25-5 1/2 on his final jump, which placed him seventh overall.
“I had to move my mark back, clear my mind, and hit the board,” Schrage said. “My only thoughts were to go out and compete. I’m a competitor at heart and I knew I had it in me to pull one out and secure another spot for the Razorbacks at the NCAA Championships.”
A three-time All-American Trajkovski also remained poised under pressure in an event that instantly narrowed a group of 48 competitors down to 12. The Razorback senior also fouled a promising mark, his toe slightly over the board on his first attempt. He went on to leap into the top-six on his third jump, wrapping up the day with a best of 7.77m/25-6 to book his trip to Eugene, Oregon for the second consecutive year.
“They both knew they had to jump further on their final jumps and they flat out, got it done,” assistant coach Travis Geopfert said. “It was a big boost for the team and they got this meet started off right. I’m very proud of their competitive effort.”
Eight Razorbacks earned spots in quarterfinal competitions, advancing out of their respective events by time or through a top heat finish.
Hurdlers Travius Chambers and Kemar Mowatt were the first to advance through as both placed among the top-two best performers of their heats.
Short sprinters Kenzo Cotton and Roy Ejiakuekwu picked up where their teammates left off, continuing the qualifying trend by moving on out of the 100-meter first round. Cotton posted an impressive all-conditions personal best of 9.96 (wind 4.0), which was the third-fastest time of the day.
Arkansas qualified three out of its four quarter-milers for the quarterfinals including Rhayko Schwartz (45.97) and Eric Janise (46.01) who both ran program top-10 times. A spring transfer from Western Texas College Schwartz has shown rapid improvement under the tutelage of assistant coach Doug Case and is now one of only seven Hogs in program history to register a time under 46 seconds in the 400. Redshirt senior Janise claimed the No. 10 spot on Arkansas’ all-time bests list, placing him in the company of former Razorback greats Omar Brown and Marqueze Washington. Sophomore Obi Igbokwe also advanced through in the 400 as the top finisher out of heat five.
Memphis, Tennessee native, Carlton Orange was Arkansas’ final qualifier of the day, finishing third in the 800 in one minute, 49.31 seconds to gain automatic entry into the next round.
*Times listed above denote the start of the live stream
Arkansas will open up day two of the West Prelims with redshirt sophomore Sam Kempka in the shot put at 4:30 p.m. CT. The Razorbacks will return to action on the track with 400-meter quarterfinal qualifiers Igbokwe, Janise and Schwartz racing at 5:45 p.m. CT.
Fans can follow the action through the live results link or tune in to the Texas Sports live stream daily by using the links above. Fans can also participate in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NCAATFWest.
Arkansas NCAA West Event Schedule
Friday, May 26
5:45 p.m. – Men’s 400m Quarterfinal (Igbokwe, Schwartz, Janise)
6:15 p.m. – Men’s 100m Quarterfinal (Cotton, Ejiakuekwu)
6:45 p.m. – Men’s 800m Quarterfinal (Orange)
7:15 p.m. – Men’s 400m Hurdles Quarterfinal (Mowatt, Chambers)
7:55 p.m. – Men’s 200m First Round (Washington, Cotton, Ejiakuekwu, Harris)
9:00 p.m. – Men’s 3000m Steeplechase Quarterfinal (Wallace, Swain)
4:30 p.m. – Men’s Shot Put (Kempka)
Saturday, May 27
6:15 p.m. – Men’s 4x100m Quarterfinal (Arkansas Team)
7:50 p.m. – Men’s 200m Quarterfinal (Washington, Cotton, Ejiakuekwu, Harris)
8:45 p.m. – Men’s 5000m Semifinal (Bruce, George, Griffith, Dalquist)
9:45 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Quarterfinal (Arkansas)
3:00 p.m. – Men’s Triple Jump (Pullen, Owens)
6:00 p.m. – Men’s High Jump (LeGassey, Owens, Rivera)
*Italicized names denote a round of competition which require qualification
NCAA West Day One Results
100 Meters First Round
3. Kenzo Cotton – 9.96w Q
15. Roy Ejiakuekwu – 10.16w Q
400 Meters First Round
9. Rhayko Schwartz – 45.97 Q
10. Eric Janise – 46.01 Q
22. Obi Igbokwe – 46.86 Q
23. Jamarco Stephen – 46.90
800 Meters First Round
3. Carlton Orange – 1:49.31 Q
400 Meter Hurdles First Round
9. Kemar Mowatt – 51.49 Q
11. Travius Chambers – 51.65 Q
27. Larry Donald – 52.25
6. Andreas Trajkovski – 7.77m/25-6 NCAA Q
7. Harrison Schrage – 7.76m/25-5 1/2 NCAA Q
20. Travonn White – 7.59m/24-11
37. Brandon Workman – 7.34m/24-1
— Erich Sullins
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.