FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 7 Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field team only had one event Friday night at the Texas A&M SEC-Big 12-PAC-10 Challenge but they made the most of their opportunity with an NCAA qualifier in the distance medley relay.
The quartet of freshman Drew Butler, sophomore Ben Skidmore, junior Chris Bilbrew and senior Dorian Ulrey combined for a time of 9:33.12. Their clocking is an NCAA provisional qualifier, ranks No. 3 in the NCAA and No. 1 in the SEC.
"I think we ran pretty well," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "I give a lot of credit to Oregon and Stanford they did a great job and it was a great race. Now we know what we have to aim for. Drew Butler ran a great lead off leg and our guys gave a good effort. Running 9:33 in January is a great start for us. We have some important individual races tomorrow and that’s where our focus is now that we have an NCAA time in the relay."
Butler led off with a 1,200-meter split of 2:57.72. Skidmore ran a 400-meter leg of 48.08. Bilbrew’s 800 meters was timed at 1:50.97 and Ulrey anchored with a mile split of 3:56.36.
Oregon won the race with the NCAA’s fastest and an automatic-qualifying time of 9:29.82. Stanford was second with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 9:30.25.
Because of inclement weather, a large group of Razorback men’s track and field student-athletes were unable to fly out of Fayetteville Friday for events on Saturday. Arkansas’ entries for Saturday now consist of sophomore Lane Boyer, freshman Solomon Haile, senior Scott MacPherson, senior Patrick Russell and Ulrey in the 3,000 meters; Butler in the 600 yards; Skidmore in the 400 meters; Bilbrew in the 800 meters; and freshman Omar Abdi and junior Michael Chinchar in the mile.
Events continue Saturday at Texas A&M at 2 p.m.