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Spearmon Sets UA Record in 200 at Razorback In

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Spearmon Sets UA Record in 200 at Razorback In

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – During the first night of competition at the Razorback Invitational Arkansas picked up two new NCAA qualifications, but the highlight of the evening happened in one of the first running events as sophomore Wallace Spearmon Jr., set a new UA school record in the 200 meters when he ran a blazing time of 20.36. Teammate Tyson Gay had the previous record of 20.40 from the 2004 SEC Championships.
“I was hoping he would run 20.50 or 20.60, but he had a good, solid run,” Arkansas sprints coach Lance Brauman said. “He looked good out there, because when you’re doing things right it shouldn’t look hard. Hopefully we still have some time to get better.”
Spearmon’s performance was also just one tenth of a second off of the American, NCAA and Tyson Center record of 20.26 held by 2004 Olympic 200-meter gold medalist Shawn Crawford and 2003 200-meter World Champion John Capel. The duo recorded the time at the 2000 NCAA Championships as they crossed the line in a dead heat. Spearmon’s time is also the fastest in the world this year and easily gave him the NCAA automatic qualification.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting that; I just wanted to qualify,” Spearmon said. “When I looked at the clock and saw the time I was shocked, but I was happy. It lets me know that what I’ve been doing with Coach Brauman is paying off.”
Sophomore Creighton Kiper was also is the event and he registered a time of time of 22.17 to finish second in his heat and 12th overall .
The distance medley relay was loaded with current and former UA runners with an Arkansas “A” and “B” team and an Arkansas Track Club foursome that put up quality times. The Arkansas “A” team of sophomore Adam Perkins, senior Terry Gatson, senior James Hatch and junior Said Ahmed finished second behind the group of decorated alumni runners that included Daniel Lincoln, Maurice Bridges, James Karanu and Alistair Cragg.
Perkins staged a smart opening leg as he clocked a split time of 2:54.8 on the heels of Lincoln. Gatson was the next to receive the baton and he powered around the track ahead of Bridges in a time of 46.2. Hatch maintained their lead over Karanu with a split of 1:49.9. Ahmed took the anchor leg (4:06) and was ahead of Cragg until the final 400 meters where he was passed on the final turn. Ahmed brought the team across the line for an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 9:37.77, while first place clocked 9:28.55.
The “B” team of juniors Harun Iman, David Wittenmyer and Seth Summerside and sophomore Brian Roe finished in fifth place with a time of 9:54.06.
“Wallace was just phenomenal; he ran the perfect race,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “So far we’ve had some really good performances. The relay was just provisional, but we still had good splits and I see improvement. That time won’t get us in (nationals), but we have time to get better.”
The Razorbacks swept the high jump with senior Cory Oldham taking first for the second-straight week and tying his personal best with a clearance of 6-10.75. Freshman Brent Rosson earned runner-up honors with a season-best 6-8.75.
Junior Jimmy Duke competed in the heptathlon and in the first day of competition he tallied 2,699 points to position himself in sixth place. He started off the afternoon in the 60-meter dash where he earned 745 points with a time of 7.40. He then posted a personal best in the long jump with a 22-6.50 for 783 points. In the shot put he threw 35-06 for 535 points and in the high jump he cleared 5-11.25 to gain 636 points. On Saturday he will conclude the event with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters, respectively.
The Razorback Invitational will continue on Saturday with the heptathlon beginning at 11 a.m. The running events will start at 1 p.m. with the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles. The 4×400-meter relay will wrap up the day and is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.



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