Hog Calls:

Speed is the word for Tyson meet

By: Nate Allen
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Arkansas' Rashad Boyd (right) finishes alongside LSU's Correion Mosby as he competes in the 60 meters Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, during the Razorback Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Rashad Boyd (right) finishes alongside LSU's Correion Mosby as he competes in the 60 meters Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, during the Razorback Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- This weekend's University-of-Arkansas-hosted Tyson Invitational track meet isn't built to go the distance.

"But if you are a fan of speed, the Tyson Invitational is it," Arkansas Razorbacks Women's Coach Lance Harter said. "The best of the best as far as the women's side and the men."

The two-day meet's invitational events at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track operates from 5 p.m.-7:40 p.m Friday and 1 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Saturday.

This meet sprints so fast that Harter and Arkansas Men's Coach Chris Bucknam will miss it.

The two head coaches specifically coach distance runners. So they span the distance to Seattle for the weekend's Husky Invitational.

Men's sprint coach Doug Case, women's sprints coach Chris Johnson, men's field events coach Mario Sategna and women's field events coach Bryan Compton hold forth in Fayetteville in fast company with Alabama, Baylor, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, LSU, Nebraska and the University of Southern California.

"We are taking our distance runners to Washington again because that's where the fish are schooling," Bucknam explained of the premier men's and women's distance runners chasing NCAA Indoor qualifying marks.

"The distance events will be down at Tyson to what people are used to," Harter said. "But the sprints definitely will make up for it."

So will the horizontal jumps and high jump and of course Saturday's 3 p.m. women's pole vault featuring Razorbacks All-Americans Lexi Jacobus and Tori Hoggard, the twin sisters growing up in Cabot as Lexi and Tori Weeks before their marriages, and Desiree Freier.

Enduring a rare rebuilding year, Bucknam's men don't have their customary superstar sprinter like Olympic hurdles champion Omar McLeod and Bowerman Award winner Jarrion Lawson, but visiting elite men's sprinters abound headed by Florida superstar Grant Holloway. The national leader in the 60-meter hurdles and No 2 nationally in the long jump and 200-meter dash, Holloway thrived on Randal Tyson's fast track at last month's Razorback Invitational.

"With Holloway coming back it would not surprise me if there is an NCAA record or beyond that a U.S. record," Bucknam said.

The women's sprints matchup alone between nationally No. 1 Arkansas led by reigning NCAA Indoor hurdles champion Payton Chadwick, Razorbacks 60-meter dash record-holder Kiara Parker, and Jada Baylark and the stable of sprinters from Southern California seems worth the price of admission.

"USC is the No. 2 in the team in the nation," Harter said. "Georgia, one of the top teams in the nation. Florida, LSU ... all that sprint cadre are coming to match up with our crew. You will see basically a preview of the NCAA Championships. So it's going to be a who's who that can run fast that are going to be here on our track."

Arkansas' women have started so strong in all phases that Harter was asked if he frets they peak too early.

"No," Harter replied. "The way the training is designed we are right on schedule."

Sports on 02/06/2019

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