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Track Hogs Hunt for 83rd Conference Title in Fayetteville

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Track Hogs Hunt for 83rd Conference Title in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas track and field will host the 2008 SEC Championships, Feb. 29- March 2, at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The Razorbacks are on the hunt for Arkansas’ 83rd conference title (cross country, indoor and outdoor). The Hogs have won the last three SEC Indoor team titles and 10 of the last 11, including a seven-season streak (1997-2003).

The SEC boasts six teams ranked in the top 25. Tennessee leads the way at No. 3, LSU ranks No. 4, Florida sits at No. 8, the Razorbacks are 14th, Kentucky ranks 17th and Georgia is 20th. Also competing will be Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

Arkansas has made a habit of topping the awards stand at league cross country and track and field championships. The Razorbacks have won a combined 81 conference crowns since 1974. Since the Hogs joined the SEC in time for the 1991-92 season, Arkansas has won 44 of 49 league championships in the three sports. The Hogs have captured all 17 cross country titles, 14 of 16 indoor crowns and 13 of 16 outdoor championships in that time span.

In addition to its team dominance since entering the league, Arkansas boasts by far and away the most individual event champions in the past 16 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The Razorbacks have claimed 78 of 272 event titles awarded in all events since 1992. UA has won 14 of 16 5,000-meter races, 10 of 16 3,000-meter runs, eight of 16 mile runs and nine of 16 triple jump competitions. Additionally, the Hogs have brought home 10 of 14 distance medley relays contested since the event was added to the conference meet in 1994.

Nkosinza Balumbu, the captain of the 2008 Razorbacks, was the first on the squad to punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships. At the Tyson Invitational, he marked a triple jump of 53-2.25. The team’s lone returning 2007 SEC Indoor Champion, he leads the SEC by almost two feet and ranks No. 5 in the nation. He is a three-time All-American and three-time SEC Champion. Mychael Stewart will be competing in three, or potentially four, events this weekend. In addition to long jump and 60-meter duties, he will also run the 200 meters and as a leg on the 4×400-meter relay. Stewart ranks fifth in the SEC in the long jump with a season-best mark of 25-0. His season best in the 60 meters is 6.80. He scored points in both events in 2007 with a seventh-place finish in the 60 meters and a fourth-place finish in the long jump.

Many of Coach McDonnell’s harriers will be doubling in the middle distance and distance events. Chris Barnicle, Shawn Forrest, Tyler Hill, Scott MacPherson and James Strang will compete in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. Alex McClary and Chris Bilbrew will compete in the 800 meters and Micky Cobrin, Andy McClary, Michael Chinchar and Duncan Phillips in the mile, with many of those entries as possible legs of the DMR. Daniel LaCava, another possible leg for the DMR, will run the 3,000 meters and Rio Reina will compete in the 5,000 meters.

Alain Bailey, Daniel Quinn, Stewart and Balumbu will compete in Saturday’s long jump and Balumbu and Quinn will come back on Sunday for the triple jump. Bailey, along with Brent Rosson, will also be high jumping.

Arkansas’ young sprint crew will consist of J-Mee Samuels, Stewart, Michael Smith, Randy Parker and Cedric Zellner in the 60 meters, Samuels, Stewart, Parker and Zellner in the 200 meters and Kent Austell in the 400 meters.

Boris Roslov will begin competition for the Hogs Friday night with the heptathlon. Spencer McCorkel and Chad Burnett will pole vault at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For complete details of Razorback track and field and the 2008 SEC Indoor Championships, visit www.hogwired.com.

Download: 2.29-3.2.08 SEC Championships.pdf



Sports Category : Track & Field (M)