NCAA INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Too little, too late for Hogs

By: DAVID CAMPBELL Special to the Democrat-Gazette
Published: Sunday, March 12, 2017
Arkansas senior Clive Pullen celebrates Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, after winning the triple jump competition during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas senior Clive Pullen celebrates Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, after winning the triple jump competition during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The SEC champion Arkansas Razorbacks saved their best for the end of the men's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Clive Pullen jumped 55-3¾ to win the triple jump championship Saturday at Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Track Center. Pullen had gone far enough to win the event on his first attempt, 55-2¼, but had his best jump on his final try.

The 2016 Jamaican Olympian had finished second to Florida's KeAndre Bates at the SEC indoor meet but never gave Bates a chance Saturday in defending his national championship in the event.

The Razorbacks also won a competitive second heat in the 1,600 relay, but finished third overall when host Texas A&M rallied past Florida to win the race and the championship.

The Aggies scored 46 to win the meet, while the Razorbacks placed fifth with 33.

"A top-five finish," Arkansas men's Coach Chris Bucknam said. "We were hoping for more, but we have a lot of young kids. Half our team had never been to this meet before, and so there was a learning curve that they are going to have to adjust to the second time."

Arkansas' run in the 1,600 relay was memorable as the Razorbacks held off solid competition to finish at 3:05.34. Obi Igbokwe took the lead coming off the turn to start the second leg and ran a 46.14 split. Eric Janise extended the lead and Jamarco Stephen ran a 46.10 anchor leg to finish up the heat victory.

"We did close well," Bucknam said. "I'm very proud of our 4x4. To get third place in that race was a great effort by those kids. They were awfully tired."

Kenzo Cotton ran 6.70 and placed eighth in the 60 meters. Cotton also was seventh in the 200 at 20.75, where he was edged out by teammate Josh Washington, who finished sixth at 20.73.

"My 60 wasn't bad overall," Cotton said. "My 200 was decent but I guess my body wasn't feeling it."

Cotton thinks racing in two finals will help as he moves to outdoor track.

"It's definitely fuel to the fire," Cotton said. "I know I need to work on some things, so I just have to buckle down and focus on what I need to improve."

Tennessee junior Christian Coleman had record runs in both the 60 and 200. In the 200, he ran 20.11, one of three sprinters to break the facility record of Oklahoma's Mookie Salaam who ran 20.39 in 2011. Coleman missed matching the collegiate record held by Arkansas' Wallace Spearmon by .01 which was set in 2005. Williams' 6.45 in the 60 matched the collegiate record of Brigham Young's Leonard Myles-Mills that had been in place since 1999.

Razorbacks' senior Ken LeGassey cleared 7-0½ in the high jump to finish ninth. Texas Tech's Trey Culver won the event with a 7-5.

Arkansas' Gabe Moore was 12th in the heptathlon with 5,519 points, running a seventh-best 2:44.58 in the 1,000 meters, his best finish in Saturday's final three events.

Sports on 03/12/2017

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.