FAYETTEVILLE – On day one of the 2011 Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, the No. 5 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team have three inside the top eight of the heptathlon. Kevin Lazas leads the Razorbacks with a second-place overall standing. The freshman accumulated 3,186 points over the first four events and trails Gray Horn of Florida by 26 points heading into day two.
Terry Prentice currently sits in fourth position with 3,012 points and Matt Kirbos is seventh with 2,791 points. The seven-event competition concludes Saturday with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters. The hurdles event is scheduled for a 2:10 p.m. (CT) start.
"I said earlier this week that I liked the energy level of our guys and you saw a little of that today with our freshman Kevin Lazas," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "We’re off to a good start and competing hard. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do tomorrow. Of course, we get going with some qualifying races and a few finals but right now, I like where we’re at and I look forward to day two."
After one event, Lazas was tied for third overall with a showing of 7.11 in the 60 meters, good for 844 points. He shared the spot with Ben Davies of Georgia. Razorback teammates Matt Kirbos (7.31) and Terry Prentice (7.32) were 11th and 12th, respectively, at the conclusion of the 60 meters.
Prentice turned things around with a win the long jump, the second heptathlon event of the day. In his final jump, the junior Razorback notched a day’s best mark of 24-2.25 to overtake the event lead held by Horn. His jump was worth 903 points. Prentice led a 1-3-6 performance for Arkansas with Lazas getting out to 23-7.25 and Kirbos marking in at 21-10.
At the end of two events of the heptathlon, Lazas moved into second place with 1,703 points while Prentice made the biggest move with a leap to third place. He had 1,675 points after his long jump performance. Kirbos also broke into the top 10, moving into eighth place after the long jump.
In the next event, Lazas had two throws of 43-4.25 to finish third in the shot put. His toss was good for 680 points to solidify his second-place overall position. Prentice slipped one spot to fourth overall after a mark of 38-4.25 and an 11th-place result in the shot put. Kirbos had an identical throw to Prentice and sat in 10th place overall entering the final event of the day.
Lazas closed out day one with a win in the high jump, clearing the bar set at 6-6.75 for 803 points. He shared the top spot in the event with Michael Ayers of Georgia. Prentice was one of three competitors to clear 6-4.25, the second-best jump of the day. With his clearance of 6-2, Kirbos moved into seventh place overall with three events remaining in the heptathlon.
"I had an awesome day and I had good people around me that kept me up to speed," Lazas said. "I’ve had a little bit of a strain in my foot the last couple of weeks so I was worried about it a little but once I got into it, the adrenaline took over and I didn’t feel any pain at all. "
Competition at the Randal Tyson Track Center continues Saturday with the men’s pole vault at noon (CT). Freshman Sam Ewing will represent the Razorbacks in the event. In addition to the heptathlon and pole vault, a winner will be determined Saturday in the 3,000 meters, long jump and shot put. To follow the weekend’s action access the 2011 SEC Indoor Championships Central page at ArkansasRazorbacks.com for a video stream, live results and interactive blog.