Three Razorbacks Chosen to Represent USA at NA
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Three Razorbacks have been honored and chosen to represent the United States at the North America Central America Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Track and Field Championships in Sherbrooke, Quebec on July 30-Aug. 1. Junior James Hatch, sophomore Eric Brown and freshman Wallace Spearmon Jr. were selected as being the top two collegians in their respective events between the ages of 20-23. Participating athletes must be 20, 21 or 22 years of age on the 31st of December 2000 and they will compete against athletes from 28 other countries.
“It’s a nice honor for them, especially to be the top two under 23,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “It adds on to their already great seasons and it’s the first time for all three of them to have the opportunity to represent the United States on an international level. It’s going to be a great experience and give them a chance to meet people from other countries. It will be a proud moment for them when they get to wear that USA gear and represent their country.”
Hatch will line up in the 800 meters with fellow Southeastern Conference runner Marc Sylvestor of Tennessee. The two half-milers have raced each other numerous times throughout their careers and will form a solid team. Hatch has a top time of 1:47.52 from the SEC Championships. The prelims of the 800 meters are scheduled for 11:15 a.m. EDT on Friday and the final is on Saturday at 6:25 p.m.
“It’s an honor and it’s exciting to represent my country,” Hatch said. “Everyone I’ve talked to says the first time they put on their USA jersey they get chills. Even though it’s a smaller meet I will still get to wear a USA jersey and hopefully it won’t be the last.”
Brown will join Paul Pisano of Connecticut in the javelin throw. Brown just made the cutoff after he turned 20 on June 7, and is bringing a mark of 246-03 to the meet. He registered his career-best at the NCAA Championships on June 12 to garner a third-place finish and his first All-America honor. The javelin throw will take place on Sunday at 3:55 p.m.
“I’m excited about it and it will be a good experience,” Brown said. “I’ve never been to an international meet like this. It will be fun and hopefully it will help next year as I get to travel to more big meets.”
Spearmon is coming off a personal-best 200-meter time of 20.25 from the U.S. Olympic Trials and Florida’s Kyle Farmer will join him on the track. Spearmon and Farmer are also members of the 4×100-meter relay pool that includes Wes Felix (Southern California), Eric Mitchum (Oregon), Josh Walker (Florida) and Ernest Wiggins (Appalachian State). Spearmon, a native of Fayetteville, Ark., is one of the young, rising sprint stars on the collegiate track and field scene and he will now seek to make an impact on an international level. The prelims of the 200-meter dash are at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and the finals will follow that evening at 6:55 p.m. The 4×100-meter relay will be contested on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
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