2 of 3 not bad for Cotton at NCAA Championships

By: Bob Clark
Published: Thursday, June 7, 2018
Kenzo Cotton runs to victory for Arkansas on the final leg of the men's 4x100 meter relay Saturday, April 28, 2018, during the National Relay Championships at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Kenzo Cotton runs to victory for Arkansas on the final leg of the men's 4x100 meter relay Saturday, April 28, 2018, during the National Relay Championships at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.

— Kenzo Cotton of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (10.14) was denied a berth in the 100 final but came back in the 200 to run 20.38, which was fourth in the first heat but fast enough to put him in the final.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it through [in the 200], but my heat was kind of fast,” Cotton said. “When the second heat ran slower, I thought I had a chance.

“I wanted to make it in the 100 but with the headwind, it kind of messed me up … now I have one less race to run and more time to recover.”

Cotton also ran on Arkansas’ 400 relay team that advanced to Friday’s final by finishing second in its heat in 38.54, a season best and the third-fastest overall time.

“It was a good time,” Cotton said before previewing the final with a prediction that “it will definitely come down to who has the best handoffs. Everyone has speed, everyone has a good anchor, so it will be up to the handoffs.”

The Razorbacks also will run in the final of the 1,600 relay after finishing second in their heat in 3:03.98.

Arkansas advanced three other individuals to Friday finals: Cameron Griffith in the 1,500 meters, Obi Igbokwe in the 400 and Kemar Mowatt in the 400 hurdles.

Griffith finished fifth in the second heat of the 1,500 in a time of 3:47.93. He was running about eighth with a lap to go but made his move on the turn heading into the final backstretch and moved up into the first five.

“The first heat was a little slow so I knew if the second heat got out reasonably fast we should get seven through [to the final], so I was happy with that,” Griffith said. “I had to go out pretty wide just to get in good position to make sure I would qualify.

“I think I ran a smart race and made the move when I needed to.”

Igbokwe ran relatively easily to take second in his heat in a personal best 44.94 for automatic advancement to the final, where the meet record of 44.00 is expected to be threatened.

Mowatt, third in this meet a year ago, won his hurdles heat in 49.98.

“I knew the guys I was running against,” Mowatt said. “They’re good, but all I had to do was win.

“It was pretty easy. The wind was a little bit challenging on the back stretch, but coming home we had the wind at our backs.”

Arkansas sophomore Harrison Schrage, an Oregon high school champion at Hayward Field, was a nonscoring 14th in the long jump despite a personal best of 25 feet, 3¼ inches.

In the decathlon, Derek Jacobus was 11th through five events with 4,010 points while Arkansas teammate Gabe Moore was 14th with 3,983 points. The final five events are today.

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