UA distance runners finish strong in Seattle

By: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Published: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Arkansas' Kiara Parker smiles Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, as she sees her time in the finals of the 60 meters during the Razorback Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Kiara Parker smiles Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, as she sees her time in the finals of the 60 meters during the Razorback Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

A winter storm that was expected to drop 6 to 8 inches of snow on Seattle played havoc with the schedule at the Husky Invitational, where both the University of Arkansas men's and women's track and field teams sent several distance runners to compete.

Races that were supposed to be run Friday night or Saturday instead were rescheduled so the meet could be over by early Friday afternoon.

Coaches weren't sure until late Thursday night when races would be run on Friday, Arkansas men's Coach Chris Bucknam said.

"Everything got pretty crazy," Bucknam said. "It was chaotic. We told our guys, 'When you wake up in the morning, be prepared to compete.' "

Bucknam and Lance Harter, coach of the Razorbacks' No. 1-ranked women's team, both said they were pleased with how their runners adjusted.

"Our distance crew just did an unbelievable job," Harter said.

Arkansas sophomore Lauren Gregory and junior Taylor Werner finished fourth and fifth in the 3,000 meters among a field of 71 and had times that will get them into the NCAA Championships, Harter said.

Gregory (8:55.97) and Werner (8:56.97) both ran personal-bests.

"Fantastic marks," Harter said. "So they made a statement nationally. It was basically the NCAA meet here in the 3,000. Everybody came specifically to run fast and put a mark in."

Also running personal-bests in the 3,000 for the Razorbacks were seniors Devin Clark (25th in 9:20.59) and Sydney Brown (9:27.05).

"Those are times that will help you score points at the SEC meet," Harter said.

Nikki Hiltz, a former Arkansas All-American now running professionally, won the mile in 4:31.42.

Senior Cameron Griffith and junior Gilbert Boit led Arkansas' No. 22-ranked men in Seattle.

Griffith, who was third in the 3,000 at the NCAA meet last, took seventh in 7:52.79 -- fifth among collegians -- in a field of 56.

Gilbert, the SEC cross country champion in the fall, finished seventh among a field of 68 in the 5,000 in a personal-best 13:42.67.

"It's going to be close for them to make the [NCAA meet] field of 16," Bucknam said. "But we won't know that for a few weeks."

Ethan Moehn took 15th among 48 milers in 4:04.49. Colin O'Mara ran a personal-best 4:08.07 to take 31st. Matt Young ran a personal-best 8:04.30 to take 20th in the 3,000. Austen Dalquist ran 14:06.21 to take 28th in the 5,000.

"We had some very good performances," Bucknam said. "We got some things accomplished. It's tough out there. There's a lot of parity, a lot of competition."

Friday night at the Tyson Invitational hosted by Arkansas in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks got a 4-5 finish in the 60 from Kiara Parker (7.28) and Jada Baylark (7.31).

Arkansas' Janeek Brown took second in the 60 hurdles (7.95) and Payton Chadwick was eighth (8.17). Alex Byrnes took third in the 800 in a personal-best 2:06.85, Morgan Burks-Magee ran 53.71 to take fifth in the 400 and Kelsey Herman long jumped 19-6 3/4 to take fifth.

In the men's 60 hurdles, Carl Elliott ran 7.81 to take fourth. Jalen Brown (46.70) took fifth in the 400 and Hunter Woodhall was seventh (47.07).

The Tyson Invitational continues today.

Sports on 02/09/2019

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