KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Alain Bailey marked a world-leading long jump to take No. 25 Arkansas Razorbacks men’s track and field’s first title at the 2010 SEC Outdoor Championships, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday. Georgia and LSU lead the team race with 45 points and Auburn rounds out the top three with 40 points. The Razorbacks are in sixth place with 23 points.
At the conclusion of the women’s 1,500-meter prelims (approx. 5 p.m.), a rain delay went into effect and lasted four hours. Competition resumed at 9:30 p.m. with the men’s shot put, women’s discus, women’s pole vault and women’s high jump and the running events.
"It’s a rollercoaster ride and we are just trying to hang on," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "We are making youthful mistakes and they are costing us points. But that doesn’t mean we are without highlights. Alain Bailey was incredible today. It was a phenomenal competition and highly spirited. He won on his final jump at his last SEC meet; that is a great example of what he means to this team."
"I feel terribly for Caleb Cross false starting," Bucknam said. "He has two relay events to run for us tomorrow so he needs to shake it off. He’ll learn from this experience."
Bailey won his third-straight SEC Outdoor long jump title on Saturday. His winning jump measured 27-4.75 and is the current 2010 world, NCAA and SEC leader. He won his sixth career SEC title (indoor/outdoor; long and high jump). Bailey took the title on his final jump. Florida’s Christian Taylor, sitting in second heading into the final round of jumps, took the lead, jumping right before Bailey, with a personal-best leap of 26-10.5. Bailey answered back with his own personal best.
"I had to do it, I had to get the win for my team," Bailey said. "I am so happy to get this big personal best and win the SEC title. I knew my team needed 10 points from me and that’s what I set out to do."
With a six-second personal best, sophomore Rick Elliott finished fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He clocked a time of 9:01.87.
Sophomore Tarik Batchelor finished ninth in the long jump. He got his first mark of the season, 24-9.25. Junior Luke Laird finished eighth in the javelin with a toss of 202-11. Sophomore Justin Holmes finished 12th in the prelims of the shot put with a toss of 46-4.
In the prelims of the 1,500 meters, junior Patrick Russell finished fifth (3:48.77), junior Michael Chinchar finished seventh (3:48.89) and sophomore Duncan Phillips was eighth (3:49.61). All three advanced to Sunday’s finals.
Sophomore Andrew Pennington will run the finals of the 110-meter hurdles after finishing sixth in the prelims with a time of 14.82. Freshman Caleb Cross false started. Sophomore Ben Skidmore finished 15th in the prelims of the 400 meters with a time of 47.53.
The Razorbacks will continue competition Sunday with the pole vault at 12 p.m.