Underdog Hogs need all to score

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, February 22, 2019
Arkansas' Josh Oglesby competes Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in the 200 meters during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Josh Oglesby competes Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in the 200 meters during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas men's track and field team has won 22 of a possible 27 SEC indoor championships since the Razorbacks joined the conference in 1992.

But for a change, the Arkansas men aren't favored to win this year's title.

Far from it.

The Razorbacks are ranked No. 35 in the coaches' national poll -- ninth among SEC teams behind No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Georgia, No. 13 Alabama, No. 19 Ole Miss, No. 32 Kentucky and No. 33 Tennessee.

"We're underdogs right now," Arkansas Coach Chris Bucknam said. "Nobody's picking us to win.

"But I still feel like we're a contender for this championship. A lot of things have to go right. But we'll see what happens."

Bucknam said his message to the Razorbacks is to focus on their events, not the rankings or best marks list.

"Really be dialed in to what's going on right in front of us, live in the moment," Bucknam said. "That's when good things happen.

"That's what our good teams have done in the past, whether we have a target on our backs and everybody's chasing us or we're the undergoing doing the chasing. The principles don't change."

Arkansas will be led by distance runners Cameron Griffith, Gilbert Boit, Matt Young, Ethan Moehn and Austen Dalquist; Gabe Moore and Derek Jacobus in the heptathlon; sprinters Hunter Woodhall and Carl Elliot; weight thrower Erich Sullins; and Laquan Narin in the long and triple jumps.

"It's going to be an all-hands-on-deck kind of performance," Bucknam said. "You look at certain teams and the majority of their points may be coming from 10 or 11 kids.

"We have 27 athletes on this team and our message to all of them is, 'Everybody's got to score. Everybody's got to find a point.'

"If that happens, and we can get five or six guys that aren't on the top 10 list, but they find themselves in the finals and scoring, then it could change the meet around."

Sports on 02/22/2019

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