UA track teams try to beat foes, weather

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, April 13, 2018
Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam watches Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the John McDonnell Invitational at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam watches Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the John McDonnell Invitational at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The weather forecast has changed the John McDonnell Invitational hosted this weekend by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville from an evening to an afternoon meet.

In hopes of avoiding rain and cooler temperatures, today's events will run from noon to about 4 p.m. Saturday's events now will run from 11 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. at McDonnell Field.

JOHN MCDONNELL INVITATIONAL

WHEN Noon-4 p.m. today, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE John McDonnell Field, Fayetteville

WHO Arkansas men’s and women’s track and field teams along with Missouri, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Missouri State, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Arkansas Baptist and Southwest Baptist.

TICKETS $5 for adults. Free admission for those 17 years and younger. Tickets are sold at the northwest entrance (corner of Razorback Road and Meadow Street) of John McDonnell Field.

INTERNET The meet will be streamed on the SEC Network-Plus via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.

The Razorbacks' No. 1-ranked women's team and No. 11 men's team lead a field that includes Missouri, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Arkansas Baptist, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa and Southwest Baptist.

"We're five weeks from the SEC meet, which seems very, very short," Arkansas women's Coach Lance Harter said. "In the meets between now and then it's imperative to try to get great qualifying marks for the SEC meet as far as seeding goes, but also for the NCAA regional and the national meet.

"We have scheduled diligently to try to get our athletes to the best competition possible for their primary event."

The Razorbacks are hosting the second of four home outdoor meets after competing at the Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational before taking last weekend off.

"We're looking forward to getting back on our home track and getting rolling again," Arkansas men's Coach Chris Bucknam said. "Our goal is to continue to move forward and prepare this team for the championship season.

"We're in a heavy training period right now, and yet we're still trying to put some marks out there and make our team better."

A highlight event for Arkansas at 2 p.m. today will be the women's pole vault with Lexi Jacobus and Tori Hoggard -- twin sisters from Cabot who went 1-2 at the NCAA Indoor Championships this year.

Other notable events today include the women's 100 and 200 meters with Jada Baylark; the men's 200 with Kenzo Cotton; and the men's and women's 400 relays.

Key events Saturday for the Razorbacks include the men's 400 hurdles with Kemar Mowatt; the men's 1,500 with Cameron Griffith; and the men's and women's 1,600 relays.

Griffith won the 3,000 at the SEC Indoor Championships and was sixth at the NCAA meet, but Bucknam believes the 1,500 could be a strong event for him as well.

"Cameron's having a breakthrough year," Bucknam said. "I really think he's one of the best 1,500-meter guys in the country. I'm excited to see what he can do."

Sports on 04/13/2018

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