Hogs long jumper makes a huge leap
Arkansas runner Neil Braddy sprints to the finish in the first heat of the men's 400 meter dash at the Tyson Invitational track meet at the Randal Tyson Track Complex in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - Raymond Higgs and Neil Braddy made sure the Arkansas men’s track and field team didn’t get lost in the crowd Friday.
On a busy day for Arkansas athletics, with the baseball team opening its season next door at Baum Stadium and the softball team playing at Bogle Park, Higgs and Braddy turned in top-five national marks on the opening day of the Tyson Invitational at the Tyson Track Center.
Higgs turned in the NCAA’s best mark of the season in the triple jump with a leap of 26 feet, 2¾ inches, while Braddy posted the third-best time of the indoor season with a time of 45.96 seconds in the 400 meters.
Higgs entered with the nation’s No. 3 mark this season, and his leap Friday night is the eighth-best mark in Arkansas history. Braddy’s time eclipsed his personal best of 46.03 and ranks second all time at Arkansas.
Arkansas sophomore Jarrion Lawson came in with the nation’s fourth-best long jump of the season and came up with another strong performance as he finished second to Higgs with a leap of 25-9 ½, the nation’s fifth-best jump this season.
The Razorbacks also got a pair of strong performances in the 800-meter finals. Junior Patrick Rono, who is expected to anchor today’s distance medley relay team, finished second in the 800 in 1:47.96, and sophomore Tomas Squella finished right behind him in third at 1:48.70.
Arkansas’ sixth-ranked women’s team fared well in the pole vault as senior Danielle Nowell and sophomore Ariel Voskamp cleared 13-5¼ . Nowell tied for second and Voskamp was third. Alabama’s Alexis Paine won the event with a vault of 13-9¼ .
Arkansas junior Tamara Myers finished second in the long jump with a leap of 20-4¼. LSU’s Nataliyah Friar won the event with a leap of20-8.
Other top marks included Kentucky’s Dezerea Bryant, who won the women’s 60-meter dash at 7.16 seconds, and Houston freshman Cameron Burrell’s 60-meter time of 6.57 seconds, which is the third-fastest time in the nation this year.
The final day of the meet begins at noon today.
Arkansas freshman Regine Williams, who has the third-best time in the 200 meters this season, will compete in the event at 1 p.m. Myers, who is ranked fifth nationally in the triple jump, is scheduled to compete at approximately 4 p.m.
Arkansas All-American Andrew Irwin and senior Kevin Lazas are scheduled to compete in the men’s pole vault today, but Coach Chris Bucknam said Friday that Irwin remains questionable for the event because of a minor injury.
All-American distance runner Kemoy Campbell did not run Friday and isn’t expected to run today.
Sports, Pages 19 on 02/15/2014