Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year three times.
Razorbacks reign at McDonnell meet
Tori Hoggard of Arkansas clears the bar at 14 feet 6 1/4 inches Friday, April 12, 2019, during the women's pole vault at the John McDonnell Invitational at John McDonnell field in Fayetteville. Hoggard won the event.
FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas senior Lexi Jacobus, a four-time NCAA champion in the pole vault and 2016 Olympian for the United States, didn't compete in the John McDonnell Invitational on Friday because of back spasms, but the Razorbacks still dominated the event.
The Razorbacks took six of the top eight spots in the pole vault, led by senior Tori Hoggard -- a four-time All-American and Jacobus' twin sister -- winning with a clearance of 14 feet, 6 1/4 inches.
"It just shows the depth that [assistant coach] Bryan [Compton] has created in the vault," Arkansas women's Coach Lance Harter said. "It's senior-laden, but we have some young ones coming up that are going to try to jump into the spotlight."
Arkansas senior Desiree Freier took second with a season-best 14-2 1/2. Senior Rylee Robinson was third with a personal-best 13-10 1/2 and freshman Bailee McCorkle was fourth with a personal-best 13-2 1/2.
Rounding out the vault for Razorbacks: Morgan Hartsell, sixth, 12-8 3/4; Elissa White, seventh, 12-0 3/4; and Olivia Groeber, eighth, 12-0 3/4.
Arkansas assistant coach Chris Johnson had some of his sprinters go in four events.
"Chris had his kids working," Harter said. "They were in heavy, heavy racing mode this week."
The Razorbacks dominated the 200, taking seven of the top eight places. The team was led by sophomores Kethlin Campbell, a transfer from Duke, and Morgan Burks-Magee taking first and second and running personal-bests of 23.08 and 23.78 seconds, respectively.
Razorbacks freshman Tiana Wilson was third in the 200 in 23.94, with Arkansas also having Paris Peoples in fourth with a personal-best 24.44, Tamara Kuykendall fifth in 24.46, Sydney Hammit seventh with a personal-best 24.47 and Shafiqua Maloney eighth with a personal-best 24.52.
Arkansas won the women's 400 relay with Wilson, Payton Chadwick, Janeek Brown and Campbell running 44.28.
The Razorbacks took the top three spots in the 400 among collegiate runners. Dominique Blake, a former Penn State runner who has competed in the Olympics for Jamaica, won the 400 in 52.83. Burks-Magee took second in 53.13 with Hammit third in 58.83 and Wilson fourth in 54.05.
Peoples, Burks-Magee, Campbell and Hammit won the 1,600 relay in 3:33.79.
Arkansas took the top three spots in the 800 with junior Carina Viljoen winning in 2:08.85 followed by freshman Megan Underwood in 2:11.23 and sophomore Alex Byrnes in 2:11.45.
"We improved ourselves for seedings in the SEC meet and also got some NCAA regional qualifying marks," Harter said. "We're starting to really gain momentum in anticipation [of hosting] the SEC meet."
In men's competition, Arkansas took 1-2 in the 100 with sophomore Kris Hari winning in a personal-best 10.31 and senior Roy Ejiakuekwu second in 10.43. Hari took second in the 200 in a personal-best 20.95.
"Kris did a great job," Razorbacks men's Coach Chris Bucknam said. "I think he was probably the highlight for us.
"He's run well on some relays, so he's been under the lights when it counts, but it's nice to see him start to take off in his individual events."
Arkansas sophomore Carl Elliott won the 110-meter hurdles in a personal-best 13.92 to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Razorbacks. Freshman Tre'Bien Gilbert took second in 14.03 and redshirt junior Shakiel Chattoo was third in 14.33.
Razorback sophomore Hunter Woodall ran 46.46 -- his best season-opening mark ever in a 400 -- to take second. He was edged at the end by Missouri sophomore Kylo Clarke, who won in 46.30.
The Razorbacks won the 400 relay with Josh Oglesby, Woodhall, Hari and Ejiakuekwa running 39.76.
Arkansas senior Nick Hilson, a transfer from Arkansas State University, won the 400-meter hurdles in 51.89.
Travean Caldwell, Hilson, Jalen Brown and James Milholen ran 3:08.56 on the Razorbacks winning 1,600 relay team.
"We just have to keep plugging away," Bucknam said. "It's all forward progress."
Sports on 04/13/2019
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