Hogs scramble, have work to do

By: DAVID CAMPBELL Special to the Democrat-Gazette
Published: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Arkansas' Andreas Trajkovski finished third in the long jump at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas.
Photo by Michael Woods
Arkansas' Andreas Trajkovski finished third in the long jump at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A strong start to the day in the long jump ended with a disappointing seventh-place finish in the distance medley relay for the Arkansas Razorbacks on the opening day of the NCAA Indoor Track Meet.

Andreas Trajkovski finished fourth in the long jump at 25-8¼, edged out for third place by Texas' Steffin McCarter, whose second-best jump gave him the advantage. Arkansas' Travonn White was eighth at 25-4¾.

Oregon is the early leader in the men's team race with 17 points. The Razorbacks are tied for ninth with 8, scoring 6 in the long jump and 2 in the distance medley, an event in which the Razorbacks fell far back early.

"There were a lot of battles out there," Arkansas Coach Chris Bucknam said. "It was a rough-and-tumble DMR."

The Razorbacks were in last place after the opening two legs, but Carlton Orange ran a strong 800 meters. Jack Bruce, who ran anchor, made an early surge but had a huge gap to overcome to reach the top six.

Arkansas finished in 9:38.91; winner Ole Miss was timed at 9:31.32.

"We were just never in it," Bruce said. "When I got the stick, we were in ninth so it was a long way to make up. I didn't want to admit it at the time, but I think the race was kind of lost at that time."

He comfortably held off the runners behind him.

"It was just a matter of holding off everybody behind me and make up 50-odd meters to try to get back. There was a UTEP guy who was going fast and slow, so I said I've had enough of you and I sprinted ahead of him."

Bruce found a positive in the letdown.

"Honestly, it's a disappointing end to what has been a good indoor season," he said. "It's not just myself. Ethan (Moehn) has made big strides. We've done well to finish All-Americans with what we've been given this year. It's a big improvement from where we finished last year. Last year's indoors was not a good one for the distance squad at all."

Eric Janise finished fourth in what was by far the fastest preliminary race in the 400. His time of 46.01 qualified him fourth for the final, set for 4:50 p.m. Saturday. Texas A&M's Fred Kerley won the opening heat and carries the top qualifying time of 45.10.

Junior Kenzo Cotton qualified seventh in the 60 meters while running in the second prelim.

Cotton came back to qualify fifth (20.65) in the 200, where he will be joined by senior Josh Washington in the final. Washington ran a seventh-best 20.81.

"We're scoring points," Bucknam said. "We're probably six points behind what I thought we would be but we have eight scoring opportunities. I think that's the most of anybody. We've must got to execute tomorrow and rebound. Everybody's had ups and downs today."

Sports on 03/11/2017

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