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 four times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
Hibbert sets record as Razorbacks claim title
Arkansas' Jaydon Hibbert jumps at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Baton Rouge, La., on May 13, 2023.
Arkansas freshman Jaydon Hibbert now has a collegiate record for the triple jump outdoors to go with the one he got indoors earlier this year.
Hibbert sailed 58 feet, 7 1/2 inches on his second attempt Saturday at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Baton Rouge, La., to break the collegiate record by nearly a foot that SMU’s Keith Connor had held since 1982 when he won the NCAA title at 57-7 3/4.
Led by individual titles by Hibbert, junior Ayden Owens-Delerme in the 400-meter hurdles and senior Roje Stona in the discus at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium, the No. 1-ranked Razorbacks won the team title with 149 points — even though it didn’t run the 1,600 relay, the meet’s final event. LSU scored 89 points to finish a distant second.
“Jaydon is just a phenomenal competitor,” Arkansas Coach Chris Bucknam said in an interview with the SEC Network. “He’s unbelievably talented and works really hard.”
Hibbert, who is from Kingston, Jamaica, and turned 18 in January, swept SEC and NCAA triple jump titles indoors. His winning jump of 57-6 1/2 at the NCAA Indoor Championships broke the collegiate record of 57-5 set by Charlie Simpkins of Charleston Southern in 1986.
“I don’t think there’s any [other] 18-year-old that does the stuff I do,” Hibbert, who also holds the under-20 world record indoors and outdoors, said in an interview posted on Arkansas’ Twitter account. “Honestly, I’m so proud of myself. … I knew that was a big one because I was all the way at the back of the pit.”
Hibbert passed on his final four attempts.
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“When I saw the [58-7 1/2], I just said, ‘OK, that’s it for me today,’ ” Hibbert said. “I’m obviously favored, but I do put in the hard work.”
Owens-Delerme, who won the NCAA decathlon title last year, won the 400 hurdles in a meet record 48.26 seconds.
Running the 400 hurdles as a collegian for the third time, Owens-Delerme broke the meet record of 48.29 by Florida’s Kerron Clement in 2005.
“Ayden, that last 100 meters it was a race to the wire, and he’s not going to lose,” Bucknam told the SEC Network. “That’s the way our team works.”
Stona, a transfer from Clemson, became the first Razorback to win the SEC discus title, and his throw of 225-2 broke a 38-year-old meet record.
Stona broke the previous SEC meet record of 213-9 by Kentucky’s Mike Buncic in 1985 and also broke his own Arkansas record of 219-10 set earlier this season. He now ranks third on the all-time collegiate list.
“I didn’t know it was that far to be honest,” Stona said in an interview posted on Arkansas’ Twitter account. “But that throw felt a lot different. I stayed on it a lot longer.”
Arkansas sophomore Ralford Mullings finished second in the discus (203-5) despite suffering an ankle injury in warmups and senior Jordan West took sixth (182-1) after winning his second consecutive SEC shot put title Friday night.
The Razorbacks scored a combined 35 points in the shot put — with Stona third — and discus.
Hibbert led a 23-point effort in the triple jump for Arkansas that clinched the team title.
Razorbacks senior Ryan Brown took second (53-11) and senior Wayne Pinnock sixth (52-2 3/4) after winning the long jump on Friday night. Sophomore Carey McLeod, second in the long jump, was seventh (50-9 1/4).
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The Razorbacks scored 17 points in the 5,000 with sophomores Patrick Kiprop second (13:48.54) and Ben Shearer third (14:07.30) and junior Myles Richter sixth (14:12.89).
In the 110 hurdles, Arkansas junior Phillip Lemonious took second (13.63) and senior Matthew Lewis-Banks seventh (13.94). Sophomore Elias Schreml was third in the 1,500 (3:43.80).
Also scoring for the Arkansas men Saturday were juniors James Benson in the 400 (44.82) Yariel Soto Torrado, eighth in the pole vault (17-0 3/4).
Arkansas won its 76th SEC championship in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field since joining the conference in the fall of 1991.
The Razorbacks won their 22nd outdoor title and third in a row.
It was the 30th SEC championship for Bucknam since he replaced John McDonnell in 2008.
Arkansas earned its 26th SEC men’s triple crown by sweeping titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field in the same school year.
“It’s what we do at Arkansas, and it started with Coach McDonnell back in the day,” Bucknam said in his SEC Network interview. “He told me when I told over that, ‘Hey, these conference championships mean a lot.’ They were his favorite thing to win.
“It involves everybody on our team, and I’m just really, really proud to be able to take this trophy back to the state of Arkansas.”
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