TRACK AND FIELD:

Baylark OK for NCAA Championships

By: Bob Holt
Published: Monday, May 28, 2018
Arkansas' Jada Baylark competes in the 200-meter invitational Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Jada Baylark competes in the 200-meter invitational Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas Razorbacks sprinter Jada Baylark pulled up and stopped about 50 meters into the 200 on Saturday night at the NCAA West Preliminaries, but that turned out to be a good thing.

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville women's Coach Lance Harter said Baylark had a leg cramp and wisely dropped out of the race and will be fine to run in 100 -- her specialty -- and on the 400 relay at the NCAA Championships June 6-9 in Eugene.

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"Jada came out of the starting blocks and took four or five steeps and when she felt a cramp she was smart enough to stop and take the pressure off before she hurt herself," Harter said. "Our trainers were on her in seconds to do therapy and make sure it was nothing serious.

"Jada is now walking around fine with no issues, so she'll be ready to go in Eugene."

Baylark, a sophomore from Little Rock Parkview, ran a school-record 11.04 seconds in the 100 on Friday night to lead the West Prelims qualifiers. She had shared the record of 11.10 with Veronica Campbell-Brown, who ran for the Razorbacks in 2004 and has won eight Olympic medals -- including three gold.

"For Jada to run 11.04 is absolutely phenomenal," Harter said. "I think everybody was stunned, because the West is loaded with great sprinters. She just dominated the race and looked fantastic."

Qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from Arkansas, Arkansas State and UALR. The NCAA meet will be held June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.

ARKANSAS MEN

Kenzo Cotton (100, 200, 400 relay)

Larry Donald (110 hurdles)

Cameron Griffith (1,500)

Kristoffer Hari (400 relay)

Kevin Harris (400 relay)

Obi Igbokwe (400, 1,600 relay)

Derek Jacobus (decathlon)

Gabe Moore (decathlon)

Kemar Mowatt (400 hurdles, 400 and 1,600 relays)

Harrison Schrage (long jump)

Jamarco Stephen (1,600 relay)

Hunter Woodhall (1,600 relay)

ARKANSAS WOMEN

Jada Baylark (100, 400 relay)

Taliyah Brooks (heptathlon, 400 relay)

Janeek Brown (100 hurdles, 400 relay)

Morgan Burks-Magee (1,600 relay)

Devon Clark (3,000 steeplechase)

Sydney Davis (1,600 relay)

Sydney Hammit (1,600 relay)

Nikki Hiltz (1,500)

Tori Hoggard (pole vault)

Lexi Jacobus (pole vault)

Kiara Parker (400, 1,600 relay)

Rylee Robinson (pole vault)

ASU MEN

Jaylen Bacon (100, 200)

Itamar Levi (shotput)

Cristian Ravar Ladislau (hammer)

Elijah Ross (100)

Carter Shell (long jump)

ASU WOMEN

Calea Carr (discus)

Caitland Smith (100)

UALR MEN

Keshawn Andrews (400 relay)

Ch’kilas Calhoun (400 relay)

Travion Clark (400 relay)

Charles Okeze (200, 400 relay)

Baylark ran on Arkansas' 400 relay before the 200 and helped the Razorbacks advance to the NCAA Championships with a time of 43.90. Also running on the relay were junior Kiara Parker, freshman Janeek Brown and senior Taliyah Brooks.

Overall Arkansas' women's team has qualified eight individuals and two relays for the NCAA Championships.

Other individuals advancing in Sacramento, Calif., along with Baylark were Brown in the 100 hurdles; Lexi Jacobus, Tori Hoggard and Rylee Robinson in the pole vault; Nikki Hiltz in the 1,500; and Devin Clark in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Brooks, whose school-record 22-3 long jump earlier this year ranks second nationally, has been nursing a sore right heel and didn't advance in the event at the West Prelims after two scratches and an 18-9 1/4 mark on her one legal jump.

Harter said team doctors and trainers will evaluate Brooks' heel this week to determine whether she should compete in Eugene in the heptathlon -- where she ranks sixth nationally -- or only run the 400 relay.

The Razorbacks 1,600 relay team of Parker, Sydney Hammit, Sydney Davis and Morgan Brooks-Magee advanced to Eugene by running 3:35.10.

Arkansas' men's team has qualified eight individuals and two relays in nine events for the NCAA championships led by seniors Kenzo Cotton and Kemar Mowatt.

Cotton, who suffered a hamstring injury at the SEC meet, qualified in the 100 and 200 and with the 400 relay.

"Kenzo looked smooth," Razorbacks men's Coach Chris Bucknam said. "It's a credit to [assistant coach] Doug Case and our medical staff. Those guys did a great job of getting Kenzo recovered from the conference meet. He got after it and got his job done."

Mowatt qualified in the 400 hurdles and on the 400 and 1,600 relays. He and Cotton were joined on the 400 relay by Kevin Harris and Kristoffer Hari. Also running on the 1,600 relay were Jamarco Stephen, Hunter Woodhall and Obi Egbokwe.

Egbokwe was among the individual qualifiers in the 400. Also advancing to Eugene were Cameron Griffith in the 1,500; Larry Donald in the 110 hurdles; Harrison Schrage in the long jump; and Gabe Moore and Derek Jacobus in the decathlon.

The only disappointment for the Razorbacks at the West Prelims, Bucknam said, was senior Jack Bruce not advancing in the 5,000 meters.

Bruce, a two-time All-American, had the nation's third-fastest time (13.28.56) coming into the West Prelims, but he ran 14:19.02 and finished 34th.

Arkansas State University qualified a school-record seven men and women in eight events for the NCAA Championships, led by senior sprinter Jaylen Bacon, who ran a school-record 9.97 at the West Prelims for the fastest time in the nation this season. He also ran 20.38 to qualify in the 200.

Also advancing to Eugene for ASU were Elijah Ross (100), Carter Shell (long jump), Itamar Levi (shot put), Cristian Ravar Ladislau (hammer) for the men's team and Caitland Smith (100) and Calea Carr (discus) for the women's team.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock advanced Charles Okeze in the 200, and the 400 relay team of Okeze, Travion Clark, Ch'kilas Calhoun and Keshawn Andrews, which set a school-record by running 39.85 seconds.

Sports on 05/28/2018

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