Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
UA’s Alcide breaks pentathlon record
Arkansas' Makeba Alcide celebrates after winning the pentathlon on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, during the SEC Indoort Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas’ Makeba Alcide tweaked a quad muscle on her final attempt on the high jump, the second event of the pentathlon, and had Mississippi State’s talented Erica Bougard breathing down her neck at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday.
Arkansas’ training staff quickly took care of Alcide’s quad, and the senior from St. Lucia handled the rest by setting four personal records in winning the event with an NCAA-record 4,569 points at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Alcide, who will turn 23 Sunday, finished the day with a big kick in the final 120 meters of the 800, crossing in 2 minutes, 16.37 seconds for her fourth personal best and the final 874 points of her performance.
“I was just playing it safe the first two laps because of my quad to make sure I was able to finish,” Alcide said. “When I felt that I could, I just kicked.
“I wasn’t going for the record, I just wanted to win to give my team 10 points. That was it. It happened. I had four PRs again, which is really good.”
Alcide also posted bests in the 60-meter hurdles (8.35), the shot put (40 feet, 5 inches) and the long jump (20-2 1/4) to surpass her previous best of 4,464 points.
“The record, I think that was not even a realization until after the long jump,” Arkansas Coach Lance Harter said. “She just never seemed to lose the game face. I mean, she said, ‘Hey, let’s go for it.’ That long jump, jumping a big PR in the long jump, that really set her up where the record was even possible.”
Bougard would have finished second with 4,459 points, but she was disqualified for running out of her lane in the 800, dropping her to 13th place with 4,208 points. Mississippi State filed a protest, but the result was upheld by meet officials, according to Sean Car-tell, SEC assistant director for media relations.
Georgia’s Lucie Ondraschkova finished second with 4,208 points, followed by Texas A&M’s Jena Hemann (4,017), Florida’s Lorraine Graham (4,010) and Texas A&M’s Annie Kunz (3,994).
Alcide and Bougard tied for first in the 60-meter hurdles, while Alcide captured the high jump (6-1 1/2) despite her quad issue and Bougard took the long jump (21-1 1/4) ahead of Alcide.
Other event winners were LSU’s Therese Jernbeck in the 800 (2:15.99) and Missouri’s Morgan Whitson in the shot put (41-8 3/4).
Arkansas and Texas A&M were tied with 10 points each atop the women’s standings, with Georgia (8 points) in third, Florida (5) in fourth and meet favorite LSU (3) in fifth.
“I hate to be presumptuous, but we thought we could get 10,” Harter said. “Now, tomorrow begins the meet. It’s nice to have the 10, but we’ve got a lot more work to do. We only need 100 more.”
The men completed four of seven events in the heptathlon with Georgia’s Garrett Scantling and Maicel Uibo holding the top two spots. Arkansas’ Nathaniel Franks is in third and teammate Matt Kirbos in fourth.
Scantling won the 60 meters in 6.95 and the shot put (46-9 1/2) on his way to 3,304 points. Uibo took the high jump at (6-8 1/4) and scored 3,197 points. Georgia took the top three spots in the long jump, with Devon Williams leading the way (23-9 1/2), followed by Uibo (23-7 1/4) and Scantling (23-5 1/4).
Arkansas’ Kevin Lazas, the nation’s top-rated heptathlete, was held out of the event to rest up for the NCAA Championships in two weeks, but the junior will compete in the pole vault today.
The Razorbacks’ Franks, Kirbos and Julius Sommer, who is sixth, are all in position to score.
“It was a great first day across the board,” said Travis Geopfert, Arkansas’ field events coach. “All three of those guys had personal bests. They just had a phenomenal day.”
Arkansas coaches reasoned Lazas’ potential for scoring in the pole vault could offset his absence in the heptathlon.
“We try hard to develop depth across the board,” Geopfert said. “These three guys that are in it, it’s their time to shine ... and so far they’re doing a really good job.”
Pentathlon results SEC Indoor Championships at Randal Tyson Track Complex, Fayetteville NAME, SCHOOL PTS.
Makeba Alcide, Arkansas .........4,569
Lucie Ondraschkova, Georgia ..4,208
Jena Hemann, Texas A&M .......4,017
Lorraine Graham, Florida ..........4,010
Annie Kunz, Texas A&M ...........3,994
Therese Jernbeck, LSU ............3,864
Morgan Whitson, Missouri ......3,828
Chalese Davis, So. Carolina ......3,827
Fabia McDonald, Mississippi ....3,823
Jennifer Cannon, Vanderbilt ...3,685
SEC Indoors WHAT SEC men’s and women’s indoor track and field championships WHERE Randal Tyson Track Complex WHO All 14 SEC teams WHEN Field events 10 a.m., running events 1:30 p.m.
LAST EVENT 6:55 p.m., women’s 3,000 meters FINALS Women’s pole vault noon; heptathlon 2:10 p.m., mens & women’s long jump 3 p.m.; women’s shot put 4:10 p.m.; men’s high jump 4:10 p.m.; men’s 3,000 meters 6:15 p.m.; women’s 3,000 meters 6:55 p.m.
Sports, Pages 19 on 02/23/2013