Hogs' track squads set to knock off rust

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, January 12, 2018
Arkansas sophomore Lexi Weeks competes in the pole vault Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas sophomore Lexi Weeks competes in the pole vault Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks' defending SEC champion men's and women's track and field teams open the 2018 indoor season at home today with both ranked in the top three nationally.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville women's team is ranked No. 2 in the coaches poll behind Oregon. The Razorbacks' men's team is ranked No. 3 behind SEC rivals Florida and Georgia.

ARKANSAS INVITATIONAL INDOOR MEET

WHEN 1 p.m.-6:45 p.m. today. Field events begin at 1 p.m. and running events at 3 p.m.

WHERE Randal Tyson Center, Fayetteville

WHO Arkansas’ No. 2 ranked women’s team and No. 3 men’s team along with Missouri, SMU, Tulsa, Missouri State, Oral Roberts, New Orleans, Arkansas Baptist and Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College

ARKANSAS INDOOR TRACK SCHEDULE

DATE;MEET;SITE

Today;Arkansas Invitational;Fayetteville

Jan. 20;Simmons-Harvey Quad;Ann Arbor, Mich.

Jan. 26-27;Razorback Invitational;Fayetteville

Feb. 2-3;New York Armory Invitational;New York

Feb. 9-10;Tyson Invitational;Fayetteville

Feb. 16-17;Last Chance Meet;Fayetteville

Feb. 24-25;SEC Championships;College Station, Texas

March 9-10;NCAA Championships;College Station, Texas

Both UA teams will ease into the season at the Arkansas Invitational, where field events start at 1 p.m. and running events at 3 p.m. at the Randal Tyson Center.

"This opener will be more of rust-buster," Arkansas women's Coach Lance Harter said. "A lot of times this initial competition triggers a physical and mental response that now it's time to get serious and take care of business.

"Hopefully, that will pay dividends the next couple of weeks, in training as well as the meets."

A highlight event for Arkansas figures to be the 1 p.m. women's pole vault where the Razorbacks have All-Americans Lexi Jacobus and Tori Hoggard -- twin sisters from Cabot whose maiden name was Weeks -- and Desiree Freier.

For the Arkansas men, All-American sprinters Kenzo Cotton and Obi Igbokwe will run in the 60 meters (3:50 p.m.) and the 200 (5:15 p.m.)

Kemar Mowatt, an All-American in the 400 hurdles, will run the 60 hurdles (4:25 p.m.) and 200.

Laquan Nairn, a two-time national junior college champion, will be among the newcomers competing for the Razorbacks in the triple jump (5 p.m.).

"This meet is to get our feet wet and get the ball rolling," Arkansas men's Coach Chris Bucknam said. "It's a chance to start getting into our routine of competing."

Bucknam feels good about his team going into the season.

"When you come to our meets you're going to see some great and track and field across the board," he said. "In every event, there's something good that could happen.

"I'm not going to make any predictions right now. All I can tell you is I think we're going to be good. If we don't over-coach them, I think we're going to be great."

Arkansas teams' will compete at Michigan's new indoor track next weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich. Along with Arkansas and Michigan the field will include Michigan State and Ohio State.

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