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.
Arkansas men, women win at home
FAYETTEVILLE University of Arkansas senior Amon Kemboi ran 3 minutes, 58.26 seconds to coast to victory in the mile on Friday night at the Wooo Pig Classic at the Randal Tyson Center.
“It’s a shame that nobody was here to see it,” Razorbacks Coach Chris Bucknam said of fans not being allowed at indoor meets because of coronavirus safety protocols. “But we’re pleased with Amon.
“We’ve been putting a tough cycle in the last 14, 21 days. It’s been pretty rough training, and for him to basically take that race from the 800 on in shows you the kind talent he is.”
Arkansas freshman Ruben Banks set a school record in winning the weight throw with an effort of 71 feet, 41/2 inches.
“He’s a talent, there’s no question about that, and he’s a hard worker,” Bucknam said. “You’re going to see a lot of him in the next four years.
“We’re so pleased with that throw he had. Pretty heady stuff when you think of the competition he was against and just his second meet as a Razorback.”
Arkansas senior Etamar Bhastekar cleared 17 feet, 81/2 inches to win the pole vault.
Kieran Taylor, a senior from Little Rock Catholic, was second in the 800 in 1:50.24. Also taking second for Arkansas were Carl Elliott in the 60-meter hurdles (7.87), Ryan Murphy in the 3,000 (8:06.71) and John Baker in the long jump (25-61/4).
The Razorbacks won the team title with 113 points followed by Southern California (84), Kentucky (811/2), Texas (601/2), LSU (54), Missouri (24) and Oklahoma State (6).
“We’re not really putting a lineup together to score the maximum amount of points, and everybody’s kind of in that mode,” Bucknam said. “We’re feeling out where our kids are best at and not overdoing it since it’s been a long time since we’ve competed.
“That being said, it was a great win for our program. It shows you how good this team is, and we’ve got a lot of room for improvement.”
Arkansas won the women’s team title and took the first six spots in the 3,000 with Lauren Gregory first (9:01.44), Logan Morris second (9:09.45) and Katie Izzo third (9:12.62).
The Razorbacks got a 1-2 finish in the 800 by Sharifqua Maloney (2:05.32) and Kennedy Thomson (2:07.41). Thomson ran a personal-best in the 800 after taking second in the mile in a personal-best 4:41.48.
Arkansas won the 1,600-meter relay with Paris Peoples, Tiana Wilson, Morgan Burks-Magee and Rosey Effoing running 3:32.18.
The Razorbacks finished with 129 points to beat Texas (72), LSU (64), Southern California (53), Kentucky (51), Oklahoma State (33) and Missouri (31).
“The improvement from last week to this week has just been massive,” Razorbacks Coach Lance Harter said of the second meet performance. “We’re training hard. We’ll ease up maybe a little bit next week for [the Razorback Invitational].
“But we’re five weeks away from the SEC meet, so I think we’re right on schedule if maybe not a little bit ahead. I’m pleasantly surprised with the position that we’re in right now.”
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