Arkansas sending 22 athletes to Oregon

By: Bob Holt Bob Holt's Twitter account
Published: Monday, May 30, 2022
Arkansas' Britton Wilson runs during the 400 hurdles during the NCAA West Preliminaries on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Fayetteville.
( Gunnar Rathbun, Arkansas Athletics )
Arkansas' Britton Wilson runs during the 400 hurdles during the NCAA West Preliminaries on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas Coach Lance Harter couldn’t have scripted a much better weekend for his women’s track and field team at the NCAA West Preliminaries.

“Fantastic meet overall,” Harter said. “Great, great weekend for us across the board.

“This meet is always scary to any coaching staff, because any time the starting gun goes off there’s a possibility of somebody making a mistake, a false start or just having an off day or whatever.

“But knock on wood, we went through the meet basically unblemished.”

The Razorbacks advanced 12 athletes in 10 events with 14 entries for the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 8-11 at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.

Sophomore Britton Wilson led all qualifiers in the 400-meter hurdles (54.87 seconds) and ran 49.72 on the anchor leg of Arkansas’ 1,600-meter relay that won in a John McDonnell Field record 3:25.16 — the fastest relay time ever run at the NCAA Prelims East or West.

The other three Razorbacks on the relay advanced to Eugene with senior Morgan Burks-Magee and freshman Rosey Effiong in the 400 and senior Jada Baylark in the 100.

Arkansas junior Lauren Gregory advanced in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters.

“It’s just so fun to watch everyone take care of their own business,” Gregory said. “You don’t have to worry about a single person. It seemed like we covered all the bases.”

Three Razorbacks advanced in the pole vault with juniors Amanda Fassold and Bailee McCorkle and sophomore Mackenzie Hayward.

Also advancing for Arkansas were senior Krissy Gear in the 1,500; junior Yoveinny Mota in the 100-meter hurdles; senior Logan Jolly in the 3,000-meter steeplechase; and sophomore Isabel Van Camp in the 5,000.

“We have a good solid squad going to the national meet,” Harter said. “We’re super excited about what we possibly can do in Eugene.”

The Razorbacks’ men’s team will have 10 athletes competing in six events with nine entries in Eugene.

Arkansas junior decathletes Ayden Owens-Delerme and Daniel Spejcher already were qualified for the NCAA Championships and didn’t have to compete at the West Prelims, though Owens-Delerme ran on two relays.

Senior Amon Kemboi led Arkansas’ qualifiers at the West Prelims by advancing in the 10,000 and 5,000.

Also advancing for the Razorbacks in individual events were juniors Tre’Bien Gilbert and Matthew Lewis-Banks in the 100-meter hurdles; sophomore Patrick Kiprop in the 10,000; and junior Ryan Brown in the long jump.

The Razorbacks’ 1,600-meter relay that advanced included Owens-Delerme, freshmen Brandon Battle, sophomore Jeremy Farr and junior James Milholen.

“It was a roller coaster meet,” Arkansas men’s Coach Chris Bucknam said.

Junior Phillip Lemonious, who finished third in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships last year, didn’t advance. He was in first place going over the final hurdle of his first-round heat, but then fell to the track.

Lemonious was set to anchor the 400 relay, but he never got the baton because the Razorbacks failed to make a clean exchange earlier in the race.

Senior Joseph Cheboson looked like a lock to take one of the top 12 spots to advance to Eugene in the 10,000, but running in sixth with 3 1/2 laps remaining, he was tripped from behind and finished 23rd.

Bucknam filed a protest, but the final results were upheld by officials.

Senior Roman Turner and Texas A&M’s Devon Achane tied for the last qualifying spot in the 100 with both running 10.177 and finishing fifth in their heats.

The Razorbacks were hoping for a runoff, but officials went with a tie-breaker of who had the fastest time this season coming into the meet, and Achane advanced to Eugene because he had run 10.12 compared to 10.31 for Turner.

“I feel like we can score some points in Eugene,” Bucknam said. “Obviously, we wish we had a bigger group going, but we’ve got the group we’ve got and we’re going to rest and recover.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I do know we’ll compete hard.”

Representing the Natural State

• Arkansas’ women’s and men’s track and field teams will have a combined 22 athletes in 16 events with 23 entries for the NCAA Championships June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore.

ARKANSAS WOMEN

Events, Athletes

100 METERS Jada Baylark

400 METERS Rosey Effiong, Morgan Burks-Magee

1,500 METERS Krissy Gear

5,000 METERS Lauren Gregory, Isabel Van Camp

10,000 METERS Gregory

100-METER HURDLES Yoveinny Mota

400-METER HURDLES Britton Wilson

3,000-METER STEEPLECHASE Logan Jolly

1,600-METER RELAY Burks-Magee, Effiong, Baylark and Wilson

POLE VAULT Amanda Fassold, Bailee McCorkle and Mackenzie Hayward

ARKANSAS MEN

Events, Athletes

5,000 METERS Amon Kemboi

10,000 METERS Kemboi, Patrick Kiprop

110-METER HURDLES Tre’Bien Gilbert, Matthew Lewis-Banks

1,600-METER RELAY Ayden Owens-Delerme, Brandon Battle, Jeremy Farr and James Milholen

DECATHLON Owens-Delerme and Daniel Spejcher

LONG JUMP Ryan Brown

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.