UA men repeat as SEC champions

By: Bob Holt Bob Holt's Twitter account
Published: Sunday, May 15, 2022
Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam is presented the SEC championship trophy from commissioner Greg Sankey on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Oxford, Miss.
( Arkansas Athletics )
Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam is presented the SEC championship trophy from commissioner Greg Sankey on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Oxford, Miss.

The University of Arkansas men and Alabama both had three scorers in the 5,000 meters on Saturday night at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Oxford, Miss., but the Razorbacks finished at the top.

Arkansas swept the first three spots in the 5,000 with freshman Patrick Kiprop winning in 13 minutes, 41.05 seconds, followed by senior teammates Amon Kemboi (13:43.02) and Emmanuel Cheboson (13:43.66).

The No. 18-ranked Razorbacks scored 24 points in the 5,000 to overtake the No. 2 Crimson Tide for the team lead in the meet’s next-to-last event and won the title with 120 points.

Alabama, which scored 10 points in the 5,000, finished second with 114. Tennessee was third with 83 points.

Arkansas led the Tide 118-108 going into the 1,600 relay and finished seventh to clinch the outright title. Alabama was third in the relay.

“Each morning we had a plan and we executed and we competed like crazy,” Arkansas Coach Chris Bucknam said of the three-day meet in an interview with the SEC Network. “I’m really, really proud of these guys. It was a true team effort.”

Arkansas won its 21st SEC Outdoor title and its second consecutive Triple Crown with championships in cross country and indoor and outdoor track in the same school year.

Florida edged Arkansas for the women’s team title, 107 points to 103.

Arkansas sophomore Britton Wilson became the first female to win the 400 meters and 400-meter hurdles at an SEC meet.

Wilson won the 400 in a school-record 50.05, which broke the mark of Taylor Ellis-Watson of 50.25 in 2016 and ranks sixth on the all-time collegiate list.

An hour after winning the 400, Wilson won the 400 hurdles in 53.75, which broke her own school record, a 54.23 that she ran Friday night.

To cap her performance, Wilson anchored Arkansas to a third-place finish in the 1,600 relay in 3:22.55 running along with senior Morgan Burks-Magee, freshman Rosey Effoing and senior Jada Baylark.

Florida took fifth in the relay in 3:26.85 to hang on for the team victory.

Arkansas men’s team scored 21 points in the 110 hurdles, with a 2-3-5-6 finish by juniors Phillip Lemonious (13.55), Tre’Bien Gilbert (13.60), Ayden Owens-Deleme (13.84) and Matthew Lewis-Banks (14.01).

The Razorbacks came into the meet with the eighth-best time in the 400 relay in the conference, but the team of senior Roman Turner, freshman Connor Washington, Owens-Deleme and Lemonious finished second in 39.24 behind Florida (38.66).

LSU and Alabama, which had the second- and third-fastest times in the SEC coming into the meet, dropped the baton and failed to score.

Kemboi took third in the 1,500 (3:39.93) and freshman Elias Schreml was seventh (3:43.94).

The Razorbacks scored well in the decathlon, which wasn’t finished until 1 a.m. Saturday after the meet schedule was delayed by six hours because of lightning.

Arkansas juniors Daniel Spejcher and Noah Swaby finished second and fourth to combine for 13 points in the team race. Spejcher scored 7,695 points and Swaby 7,302.

Spejcher had a personal best 188 feet, 11 inches for the top javelin mark. He also ran the 110 hurdles in 14.77, cleared 15-3 in the pole vault, threw the discus 134-8 and ran the 1,500 in 4:44.57.

Swaby had the top mark in the discus (155-5), the No. 2 mark in the javelin (183-11), ran the hurdles in 15.20, cleared 13-7 1/4 in the pole vault and ran the 1,500 in 4:45.51.

In women’s competition, Arkansas junior Amanda Fassold cleared 14-9 to win the pole vault.

Arkansas senior Lauren Gregory took second in the 1,500 in 4:09.72 and finished third (15:39.04) in the 5,000. The Razorbacks scored 13 points in the 5,000 with Isabel Van Camp fourth (15:51.71) and senior Logan Jolly seventh (16:06.00).

The Razorbacks scored 13 points in the 400 with Effiong taking seventh (52.12) and Morgan Burks-Magee eighth (52.21). Junior Yoveinny Mota was fourth in the 100 hurdles (13.06).

CORRECTION: A scoring change by the SEC following the 1,600 relay caused scores that were initially reported to be incorrect. Those scores have been corrected in this story.

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