SEC INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Arkansas teams jump to the front

By: AUBREY BLOOM SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Arkansas' Anthony May won the SEC high jump championship on Friday.
Photo by Robert Black/University of Arkansas
Arkansas' Anthony May won the SEC high jump championship on Friday.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - So far, so good for Arkansas at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The top-ranked Razorback men got off to a good start on their quest to repeat as champions for a third consecutive time, finishing the day with 56 points to lead the men’s field. That’s more than 25 points clear of second-place Kentucky.

“I thought we had a solid day,” Coach Chris Bucknam said. “Our kids competed really hard. We’ve got an influx of freshmen this year and it’s kind of baptism by fire in the SEC, but I think they did a good job. It’s going to be a tight meet. It very well could come down to the final event, the mile relay.”

The Razorbacks took the top two spots for 18 points in the long jump. Raymond Higgs won with a leap of 25 feet, 8.25 inches and Jarrion Lawson came in second with a leap of25-6. Anthony May added 10 points when he won the high jump with a jump of 7-.5, making him the first Razorback since 2001 to win the event. Ken LeGassey and Noah Kittelson added four points each as part of a five-way tie for third in the high jump.

“We have a great jumps program here,” Bucknam said. “Coach [Travis] Geopfert does a phenomenal job with them. We put a lot of points on the board with our jumpers, that’s kind of a badge of honor for us. We have more jumping to do tomorrow with the triple jump, and we have the reigning national champion in the pole vault tomorrow.”

Despite the big lead, Bucknam said things are far from over.

“We know that Florida is going to come roaring back,” he said. “They’ve got some great sprinters and hurdlers that are going to score a lot of points tomorrow. You can’t let the lead that we have fool you because it will evaporate tomorrow.”

Arkansas’ men’s team is competing this weekend without three of its top performers. Distance runners Stanley Kebenei (mononucleosis) and Kemoy Campbell (Achilles injury) are being held out. Multi-event athlete Kevin Lazas, the NCAA champion in the heptathlon, is at home in Brentwood, Tenn., because of family reasons.

On the women’s side, the Razorbacks also finished ahead of the pack with 39 points, six clear of second-place Georgia in their effort to defend their championship as well.

“We’re in the lead. You always have to be appreciative of that opportunity,” said Lance Harter, Arkansas’ women’s coach. “We had some real highs today. Our pole vaulters did a fantastic job. They both punched their tickets to Albuquerque [site of the NCAA Indoor Championships] today. They got second and third to a potential national champion. That’s a huge positive.”

Arkansas scored 14 points in the pole vault. Sophomore Ariel Voskamp (14-1 1/4) and senior Danielle Nowell (14-1 1/4) finished second and third, respectively, behind Georgia’s Morgann Leleux (14-4½ ). Voskamp placed second by clearing the mark on her first attempt. Nowell cleared it on her third. Both set personal records with their vaults.

“If anything, that was probably an upset,” Harter said. “They’ve been jumping well, but they weren’t seeded in the prerace forecast. Toboth get lifetime bests and jump over 14 feet, that’s kind of like the four-minute mile. That’s a barrier to break, 14 feet for a female, and for both of them to do it, that’s a special moment.”

Chrishuna Williams won her heat in the 400 meters in a personal record 52.92 seconds, and she’ll be one of four finalists on the track today for Arkansas. She’ll be joined by Stephanie Brown in the 800 and Grace Heymsfield and Keri McClary in the mile.

Harter said Texas A&M and Florida would be the biggest challengers. Each have nine track finalists today.

“We gave a little bit here and there on the sheet, but as far as we are on schedule, yeah.” Harter said. “It’s going to be a three-team horse race between us, Florida and A&M, and I don’t think anything has changed in the first day of prelims.”

Team scores

MEN

TEAM POINTS

  1. Arkansas ....................................56

  2. Kentucky ............................................30.33

  3. Alabama ................................................. 28

  4. Texas A&M .........................................18.33

  5. Georgia ....................................................16

  6. Auburn ...............................................15.33

  7. Tennessee ...............................................13

  8. Missouri .................................................... 9

  9. Florida ....................................................... 6

  10. LSU ......................................................... 2

  11. Mississippi .............................................. 1

WOMEN

TEAM POINTS

  1. Arkansas ................................... 39

  2. Georgia ................................................... 33

  3. Florida .................................................... 24

  4. Miss State .............................................. 22

  5. Missouri ................................................. 19

  6. Texas A&M ............................................. 13

  7. Auburn ................................................... 12

  8. Kentucky ................................................ 10

  9. LSU .......................................................... 9

  10. Alabama ................................................. 7

  11. South Carolina ....................................... 4

  12. Tennessee .............................................. 3

Individual results COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Finals results from Friday at the SEC Indoor Championships being held at Texas A&M: MEN 3,000 1. Matt Hillenbrand, Kentucky, 8:00.08; 2. Adam Kahleifeh, Kentucky, 8:02.94; 3. Ty McCormack, Auburn, 8:06.08; 4. Gabe Gonzales, Arkansas, 8:08.66; 5. Solomon Haile, Arkansas, 8:09.50; 6. Niklas Buhner, Auburn, 8:10.05; 7. Austin Whitelaw , Tennessee, 8:10.67; 8. Mark Parrish, Florida, 8:11.19.

HIGH JUMP 1. Anthony May, Arkansas, 7-½; 2. Devion Harris, Texas A&M, 7-½; 3. Noah Kittelson, Arkansas, 6-9; 3. Ken LeGassey, Arkansas, 6-9; 3. Justin Fondren, Alabama, 6-9; 3. Mitchell Hatten, Missouri, 6-9; 3. Justin Kretchmer, Kentucky, 6-9; 8. Samuel McSwain, Texas A&M, 6-9; 8. DJ Smith, Auburn, 6-9; 8. Ryan Ratliff, Kentucky, 6-9.

LONG JUMP 1. Raymond Higgs, Arkansas, 25-8¼; 2. Jarrion Lawson, Arkansas, 25-6; 3. Kamal Fuller, Alabama, 24-8½; 4. Marquis Dendy, Florida, 24-7¼; 5. Olabanji Asekun, Texas A&M, 24-3½; 6. Jamario Calhoun, Georgia, 23-10¼; 7. Jonathon Ilori, Missouri, 23-5¼; 8. Jonathan Turner, Texas A&M, 23-4¾.

WEIGHT THROW 1. Charodd Richardson, Alabama, 70-7; 2. Elias Hakansson, Alabama, 70-5¾; 3. Cameron Brown, Tennessee, 67-8; 4. Tavis Bailey, Tennessee, 65-7; 5. Casey Strong, Texas A&M, 63-10¼; 6. Alex Poursanidis, Georgia, 63-9½; 7. Jeremy Tuttle, LSU, 63-9; 8. Afoaku Onyi, Ole Miss, 63-2.

HEPTATHLON 1. Maicel Uibo, Georgia, 5,859; 2. Ibn Short, Kentucky, 5,344; 3. Parker Shearer, Auburn, 5,309; 4. Brad Culp, Arkansas, 5,268; 5. Nathanael Franks, Arkansas, 5,257; 6. Ser Whitaker, Missouri, 5,211; 7. Lane Austell, Arkansas, 5,059; 8. DanielMartin, Texas A&M, 5,001.

WOMEN 3,000 1. Lisa Ziegler, Mississipp State, 9:52.91; 2. Hannah Jumper, Vanderbilt, 9:55.97; 3. Courtney Kriegshauser, Vanderbilt, 9:57.58; 4. McKenna Coughlin, Ole Miss, 9:58.78; 5. Nicole Mello, Missouri, 9:59.93; 6. Amira Joseph, Vanderbilt, 10:03.29; 7. Saga Barzowski, Ole Miss, 10:12.37; 8. Brooke Wolfe, Missouri, 10:15.03.

POLE VAULT 1. Morgann Leleux, Georgia, 14-4½; 2. Ariel Voskamp, Arkansas, 14-1¼; 3. Danielle Nowell, Arkansas, 14-1¼; 4. Alexis Paine, Alabama, 13-10; 5. Brittany Wooten, Texas A&M, 13-6¼; 6. Erin Champion, Tennessee, 13-6¼; 7. Georgia Stefanidi, Georgia, 13-6¼; 8. Petra Olsen, South Carolina, 13-6¼. LONG JUMP 1. Rochelle Farquharson. Mississippi State, 21-¾; 2. Tamara Myers, Arkansas, 20-7¼; 3. Chanice Porter, Georgia, 20-5¾; 4. Sha’Keela Saunders, Kentucky, 20-4¼; 5. Nataliyah Friar, LSU, 20-3½; 6. Kenyattia Hackworth, Kentucky, 20-1¾; 7. LaQue Moen-Davis, Texas A&M, 19-11½; 8. Jennifer Madu, Texas A&M, 19-11.

SHOT PUT 1. Kearsten Peoples, Missouri, 58-5¼; 2. Valentina Muzaric, Auburn, 56-1¼; 3. Jill Rushin, Missouri, 53-7½; 4. Tori Bliss, LSU, 53-1; 5. Rachel Dincoff, Auburn, 51-7; 6. Katie Evans, Missouri, 50-10¼; 7. Candicea Bernard, Alabama, 50-9¼; 8. Madison Jacobs, Kentucky, 49-7.

PENTATHLON 1. Erica Bougard, Miss. State, 4,458; 2. Kendell Williams, Georgia, 4,283; 3. Lucie Ondraschkova, Georgia, 4,225; 4. Brittany Harrell, Florida, 4,137; 5. Alex Gochenour, Arkansas, 4,122; 6. Sarah Graham, South Carolina, 4,107; 7. Jena Hemann, Texas A&M, 4,079; 8. Quintunya Chapman, Georgia, 4,043.

Sports, Pages 27 on 03/01/2014

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