Griffith's 3,000 helps Hogs finish as indoor runner-up

By: Henry Apple
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2019
Arkansas' Cameron Griffith (center) trails Ole Miss' Waleed Suliman as he competes Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in the mile during the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Cameron Griffith (center) trails Ole Miss' Waleed Suliman as he competes Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in the mile during the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Cameron Griffith let victory slip away from him once Saturday afternoon, and he was determined not to let it happen again.

The Arkansas junior picked up the pace over the final lap and passed three other runners, including his teammate Gilbert Boit, and won the men's 3,000 meters at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships in the Randal Tyson Track Center. Griffith finished with a time of 8 minutes, 2.81 seconds, while Alabama's Gilbert Kigen was second at 8:03.03.

The win came after Griffith tried the same thing in the mile, only to fall short at the end. Ole Miss' Waleed Suliman won with a time of 4:02.47, just .03 seconds ahead of Griffith.

"It was a tough triple," said Griffith, who also ran Friday on Arkansas' distance medley relay team. "Let's just say I'm tired, but I'm really happy with the weekend. To get the win in the 3K when I didn't expect it, to finish second in the DMR against some great teams and get second in the mile -- it's definitely my best season so far."

Griffith was still in fourth place when he started the final lap and didn't pass Boit until the end of the backstretch. He then pulled ahead of Tennessee's Zach Long on the final curve, then slipped ahead of Kigen with about 30 meters to spare.

Griffith's victory, coupled with Boit's fourth-place finish and a seventh by Austen Dalquist, gave Arkansas 17 crucial points in the next-to-last event and helped the Razorbacks earn a runner-up finish. Florida won the team title with 103 points, followed by Arkansas with 88 and LSU with 78.

"You don't want to give up any spot in the SEC," Arkansas Coach Chris Bucknam said. "I'm really proud of how our kids competed. You saw the races, and a lot of stuff that came down to the wire.

"We came in here unranked as a team, and we just beat a bunch of ranked teams. We had a great race in the mile, Gabe Moore and Derek Jacobus in the multi-events, and Laquan Nairn in the triple jump. The hurdles, the 200 -- we had people in there scoring."

Moore and Jacobus gave Arkansas 13 points by finishing second and fourth, respectively, in the heptathlon, but the Razorbacks' biggest surprise came from Nairn in the triple jump. Nairn, who had yet to jump this season, went 52 feet, 71/2 inches to finish third and pick up six points, while the 1,600 relay team took third to close the meet.

Meanwhile, Grant Holloway proved to be a big part of Florida's title run as he accounted for 28 of the Gators' points. Holloway took second in the long jump Friday, then came away with a double victory Saturday in the 60 and the 60 hurdles.

Holloway won the 60 in 6.57 seconds, while teammate Hakim Sani Brown gave Florida a one-two finish with his 6.61 time. Holloway, whose 60 hurdle time of 7.48 during Friday's prelims broke the meet record, did it again in the final with his 7.44 time.

"It was my first time doubling, so I thought I executed both races well," Holloway said. "Brought in 20 points in a 25-minute duration for the Gators.

"[Friday] was all about qualifying. I was doing events left and right, so I would come out here, lay down a good time and a good foundation for my body to remember what the mechanics are, then go back and do another event. Each time I just had to refocus. From the long jump to the dash to the hurdles, it was fun."

Results

Team Scores 1. Florida 103; 2. Arkansas 88; 3. LSU 78; 4. Alabama 73; 5. Texas A&M 72; 6. Tennessee 50; 7. Georgia 45; 8. Ole Miss 44; 9. Kentucky 31; 10. South Carolina 29; 11. Mississippi State 24; 12. Missouri 17; 13. Auburn 8.

60 1. Grant Holloway, Florida, 6.54; 2. Hakim Sani Brown, Florida, 6.60; 3. Keitavious Walter, Alabama, 6.64; 4. Daniel Roberts, Kentucky, 6.65; 5. Ryan Clark, Florida 6.66; 6. Raymond Ekevwo, Florida, 6.66; 7. Mustaqeem Williams, Tennessee, 6.75; 8. Akanni Hislop, LSU, 6.77.

200 1. Mustaqeem Williams, Tennessee, 20.65; 2. Jaron Flournoy, LSU, 20.66; 3. Ryan Clark, Florida, 20.69; 4. Keitavious Walter, Alabama, 20.77; 5. Dylan Peebles, LSU, 20.79; 6. Akanni Hislop, LSU, 20.88; 7. Roy Ejiakuekwu Sr., Arkansas, 21.06

400 1. Quincy Hall, South Carolina, 45.69; 2. Benjamin Lobo Vedel, Florida, 46.11; 3. Bryce Deadmon, Texas A&M, 46.55; 4. Champion Allison, Alabama, 46.58; 5. Chantz Sawyers, Florida, 46.65; 6. Ilolo Izu, Texas A&M, 47.07; 7. Hunter Woodhall, Arkansas, 47.25; 8. Jalen Brown, Arkansas, 47.31.

800 1. Devin Dixon, Texas A&M, 1:47.47; 2. Marco Arop, Miss State, 1:47.86; 3. Carlton Orange, Texas A&M, 1:48.76; 4. Dejon Devroe, Miss State, 1:49.15; 5. Daniel Nixon, Miss State, 1:49.63; 6. Kieran Taylor, Arkansas, 1:50.89; 7. John Rivera, Ole Miss, 1:52.40; 8. Otis Jones, South Carolina, 1:54.88.

Mile 1. Waleed Suliman, Ole Miss, 4:02.47; 2. Cameron Griffith, Arkansas, 4:02.50; 3. Kieran Wood, Missouri, 4:04.05; 4. Cade Bethmann, Ole Miss, 4:04.39; 5. Benjamin Young, Kentucky, 4:04.95; 6. Brennan Fields, Kentucky, 4:06.18; 7. Ethan Moehn, Arkansas, 4:06.70; 8. Sam Ahrenholz, Florida, 4:06.99.

3,000 1. Cameron Griffith, Arkansas, 8:02.81; 2. Gilbert Kigen, Alabama, 8:03.03; 3. Zach Long, Tennessee, 8:03.69; 4. Gilbert Boit, Arkansas, 8:04.32; 5. Mario Garcia Romo, Ole Miss, 8:05.77; 6. Vincent Kiprop, Alabama, 8:07.32; 7. Austen Dalquist, Arkansas, 8:07.59; 8. Derek Gutierrez, Ole Miss, 8:09.40.

60 Hurdles 1. Grant Holloway, Florida, 7.44 (meet record; previous mark 7.48 by Grant Holloway, 2019); 2. Daniel Roberts, Kentucky, 7.48; 3. Isaiah Moore, South Carolina, 7.77; 4. Michael Nicholls, Georgia, 7.78; 5. Damion Thomas, LSU, 7.81; 6. Arthur Price, LSU, 7.83; 7. Carl Elliot III, Arkansas, 7.88; 8. Cory Poole, Florida, 7.97.

4x400 Relay 1. Texas A&M, 3:03.61; 2. LSU, 3:04.69; 3. Arkansas, 3:05.71; 4. Alabama, 3:08.70; 5. Miss State, 3:09.93; 6. Kentucky, 3:11.54; 7. Tennessee, 3:12.40; 8. Missouri, 3:13.03

Triple Jump 1. Tahar Triki, Texas A&M, 17.12m (56-2); 2. Clayton Brown, Florida, 16.26m (53-4¼); 3. Laquan Nairn, Arkansas, 16.03m (52-7¼); 4. Christian Miller, LSU, 15.65m (51-4¼); 5. Jalen Tate, Tennessee, 15.59m (51-1¾); 6. Georgi Nachev, Missouri, 15.41m (50-6¾); 7. Mark Rubalcaba, Auburn, 15.16m (49-9); 8. Michael Wiggins, Alabama, 15.07m (49-5½).

Weight Throw 1. AJ McFarland, Florida, 23.35m (76-7¼); 2. Denzel Comenentia, Georgia, 22.82m (74-10½); 3. Thomas Mardal, Florida, 22.59m (74-1½); 4. Seth Whitener, Tennessee, 22.03m (72-3½); 5. Gabriel Oladipo, Texas A&M, 20.98m (68-10); 6. Jake Norris, LSU, 20.81m (68-3¼); 7. Bobby Colantonio, Alabama, 20.78m (68-2¼); 8. Avery Carter, Missouri, 20.45m (67-1¼).

Heptathlon 1. Johannes Erm, Georgia, 5,996; 2. Gabe Moore, Arkansas, 5,908; 3. Nathan Hite, Texas A&M, 5,680; 4. Derek Jacobus, Arkansas, 5,323; 5. Chris Stone, Auburn, 4,877; 6. RC Walbrook, LSU, 4,435; 7. Jason Edwards, Missouri, 4,161; 8. Benjamin Womble, South Carolina, 4,154.

Sports on 02/24/2019

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