Track & Field Notes: Razorbacks Win SEC Championship; Red Wolves 2nd in SBC

Courtesy Departments of Athletics

Razorbacks Men’s Team Wins 7th Consecutive SEC Title

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Running its streak of consecutive overall league titles to seven, the No. 5 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team won the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships this weekend in Columbia, Mo. With the help of five SEC event titles—all won Sunday—the Razorbacks finished the meet with 152.5 points to complete the program’s second-consecutive SEC Triple Crown. The win also marks the 18th SEC outdoor team title in program history, and third in a row for Arkansas.

Sunday’s highlights featured event titles from Leoman Momoh at 800 meters, Patrick Rono at 1,500 meters, Kemoy Campbell at 5,000 meters, Caleb Cross in the 400-meter hurdles and Andrew Irwin in the pole vault. With the weekend collection, the Razorbacks have now racked up 112 SEC titles in the program’s history.

“I’m really proud of our athletes and my coaches,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “There’s a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication. They just go the job done today. We had a big day and came away with five wins. They call came in about a 30-minute span so we got some real good momentum going. I’m proud of them.

“Track and field at Arkansas is a team sport and we’re awfully proud of that. It’s a priority for us. We won the national indoor title but we’re equally proud of seven SEC titles in a row and two back-to-back Triple Crowns. It means everything to us. I’m almost at a loss for words at how proud I am of everybody.”

Rono picked up the Razorbacks’ first win on the track with his first-place performance at 1,500 meters. Stalking the lead group at the bell, the Arkansas sophomore put on a late charge to capture his first career SEC outdoor title. He crossed the finish line in a time of 3:50.22. Campbell, in his first of two event finals, finished in fifth place with a time of 3:51.92, good for four points to the team’s total.

Campbell was back on the track for the finals of the 5,000 meters where he posted a win in 13:57.17. The 10 points from Campbell and four additional points from Stanley Kebenei’s fifth-place finish helped give the Razorbacks an insurmountable lead heading into the final event. Kebenei, off his runner-up finish in the steeplechase Saturday, had a final time of 14:00.45.

“I finished pretty well, and that’s what I came here to do,” Campbell said. “I was hoping to win the 1,500 (meters) earlier but I wasn’t able to do that so I knew I had another chance to win with the 5K. It was a pretty tactical race. There were some good guys in the race and I knew I had my work cut out for me. I had to run smart. I wasn’t very smart in running the 1,500 earlier but I went back to the drawing board and knew I had to come with something better in the 5K. It paid off.”

The Razorbacks got an early boost from a repeat championship effort from Irwin in the pole vault. The Arkansas sophomore successfully defended his title with a final clearance of 5.59m/18-4. During the competition, Irwin had to come through with two third-attempt clearances, including an effort at 17-9 that assistant coach Doug Case called the tough jump he’s ever seen. With Sunday’s win, Irwin won his fourth SEC title between his indoor and outdoor performances.

“There was a straight headwind on my third attempt at 17-9,” Irwin said. “I really had to battle through the box just to make sure I made the pit, so that was tough in itself. The wind has been swirling all day. It was a tough day so I just had to stay in there and battle it out. You defeintely want to be able to contribute 10 points to the team. We’re contending again this year for a Triple Crown. It means something to go out there and win an SEC title.”

Cross turned in a repeat performance of his own as he won the 400-meter hurdles in a season-best time of 50.42. He is the seventh hurdler in SEC history to win consecutive titles in the event. Earlier in the day, the Newport, Ark., native earned six points for the Razorbacks with a third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles. Cross finished the shorter hurdle event with a time of 14.04.

“I didn’t have a lot of time between the 400 (hurdles) and the 110s but it was a good day. Winning another SEC title is pretty awesome. I wanted to run a little bit faster but I didn’t execute my first 200 like I wanted. I’m happy with the time. It’s a season best for me, so I’ll just keep working as we go into prelims and nationals.”

As the team’s lone representative in the finals of the 800 meters, Momoh took the early lead and held on for the wire-to-wire victory. The Razorback senior captured his first individual SEC title with the effort, crossing the finish line in a personal-best time of 1:47.74. Momoh is the third Razorback in the last five years (Alex McClary, 2009; Dorian Ulrey, 2011) to win an SEC title in the event. Momoh entered the weekend with a season-best time of 1:54.59.

“I went out in the first 200 (meters) and just tried to stay in the moment. I didn’t expect to lead it but I thought ‘let me just go ahead.’ Through 400, I had the lead and I knew I just had to keep running. Sean Obinwa (of Florida) came up on me and I just thought about my teammates and how we needed points. I just kept striding and I made it.”

Arkansas bookended its day on the track with fourth- and third-place finishes in the 4×1000- and 4×400-meter relays, respectively. In the opener, the team of Cross, Jarrion Lawson, Akheem Gauntlett and Marek Niit combined to pass the baton around the track in a season-best time of 39.34. Niit and Gauntlett were back on the track in the last event with Neil Braddy and Anton Kokorin to finish third in the 4×400-meter relay. The foursome posted a season-best time of 3:04.68.

Individually, Gauntlett turned in a runner-up finish at 400 meters. The Razorback senior crossed the finish line in a time of 45.53, the second-best mark of his career. Niit was also involved in an earlier event final, finishing eighth overall at 200 meters.

Aside from Irwin’s effort in the pole vault, the Razorbacks collected 11.5 points in field events between the high jump and triple jump. Anthony May II tied for fifth in the high jump with teammate Noah Kittelson. Dwayne Golbek was the team’s third scorer in the event with a tie for seventh place. Earlier in the day, May finished sixth in the triple jump to earn three points for Arkansas.

A tape-delayed broadcast of the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships will air May 23 on ESPNU at 7 p.m. (CT). Arkansas’ postseason schedule continues May 23-25 with the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas. After national qualifiers are decided, the collegiate season will come to a conclusion June 5-8 with the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.

Sunday Results
Team Standings (FINAL)
1. ARKANSAS – 152.5
2. Florida – 123
3. Texas A&M – 118
4. LSU – 72.5
5. Georgia – 56
6. Alabama – 52
7. Kentucky – 46
8. Ole Miss – 39
9. Auburn – 37
9. Missouri – 37
11. Mississippi State – 33
11. Tennessee – 33
13. South Carolina – 13

Event Results

200 Meters
8. Marek Niit – 21.09 [1 point]

400 Meters
2. Akheem Gauntlett – 45.53 [8 points]

800 Meters
1. Leoman Momoh – 1:47.74 [10 points]

1,500 Meters
1. Patrick Rono – 3:50.22 [10 points]
5. Kemoy Campbell – 3:51.92 [4]

5,000 Meters
1. Kemoy Campbell – 13:57.17 [10 points]
5. Stanley Kebenei – 14:00.45 [4]
29. Layne Nixon – 15:05.33
–. Solomon Haile – DNF
–. David Flynn – DNF

110m Hurdles
3. Caleb Cross – 14.04 [6 points]

400m Hurdles
1. Caleb Cross – 50.42 [10 points]

4x100m Relay
4. Cross/Lawson/Gauntlett/Niit – 39.34 [5 points]

4x400m Relay
3. Braddy/Kokorin/Niit/Gauntlett – 3:04.68 [6 points]

High Jump
t-5. Anthony May II – 2.10m/6-10.75 [3.5 points]
t-5. Noah Kittelson – 2.10m/6-10.75 [3.5]
t-7. Dwayne Golbek – 2.05m/6-8.75 [1.5]
12. Brede Ellingsen – 2.00m/6-6.75

Pole Vault
1. Andrew Irwin – 5.59m/18-4 [10 points]

Triple Jump
6. Anthony May II – 15.55m/51-0.25 [3 points]
12. Tarik Batchelor – 14.99m/49-2.25
–. Jarrion Lawson – NM
–. Raymond Higgs – DNS

14. Devin Randall – 48.37m/158-8

No 6 Razorbacks Women’s Track and Field Team Takes 3rd at SEC Championships

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The No. 6 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team finished in third place at this weekend’s SEC Outdoor Championships in Columbia, Mo. The Razorbacks finished the meet with 109 points behind five event titles, three of which were won Sunday. On the last day of competition, Arkansas collected SEC titles in the 400 meters, 400-meter hurdles and 4×400-meter relay.

razorbacks womens track fieldThe Razorbacks finished the weekend with five conference wins, including victories earlier in the weekend by Makeba Alcide in the heptathlon and Grace Heymsfield in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The team‘s finished marked the fourth straight top-four finish at the SEC Outdoor Championships. The top-four teams at this year’s SEC meet were separated by just 11 points.

“It’s another one of those exciting SEC meets,” head coach Lance Harter said. “When you talk about four of the top six teams in the United States and five of the top 10, you’re talking about the best of the best. To be able to match up with them and go head-to-head, I’m just really proud of our crew because they never gave up. Some of the doubles and triples they pulled off this weekend are without parallel.”

Arkansas capped its weekend with a first-place performance in the 4×400-meter relay, the program’s third in the last four years. The team of Gwendolyn Flowers, Regina George, Sparkle McKnight and Chrishuna Williams combined for a winning time of 3:30.06, more than a second faster than the event runner-up. George has been part of all three Arkansas SEC champions in the 4×400-meter relay. Sunday’s win was the second relay title for Flowers who was also part of the 2011 team.

“That race came down to being third or fourth in the team race,” Harter said. “Florida is the No. 3 team in the nation and it came down to duking it out with them. I think all top-four teams this weekend had a great meet. I don’t think any one of us can really look back and talk about too many hiccups. It seemed like every event was a perfect matchup.”

The team’s first win of the day came from George who successfully defended her title at 400 meters. The Razorback senior posted a season-best time of 51.74 to secure the event title. George is the sixth won in SEC history to win consecutive 400-meter titles. In her first of two individual event finals, McKnight was third in the race with a time of 53.01. The teammates combined for 16 points toward the team’s total.

One hour later, McKnight was back on the track for her signature event. The Razorback newcomer won the program’s first-ever SEC title in the 400-meter hurdles, breaking the school record in the process with her time of 55.71. McKnight is the first runner in Arkansas history to dip below 56 seconds, eclipsing the previous school mark of 56.46 set by Brittany Hyter in 2011. McKnight now owns the No. 1 and 3 times in school history.

“Coming into the championships, I was having second thoughts about doubling up but my coach told me I could do it,” McKnight said. “I’ve been practicing hard so I was strong enough. I just came out here and did the best I could do for my team. Before the (400-meter hurdles) race, my mom called me and said ‘Sparkle, the only thing I want today is a win from you,’ so I had to just go out there and do it for her.”

Competing in her first of two event finals Sunday, Stephanie Brown picked up three points for the Razorbacks with her sixth-place finish at 1,500 meters. The middle-distance standout crossed the finish line in 4:19.12. About an hour later, Brown duplicated her sixth-place finish, this time at 800 meters. She had a final time of 2:08.00, worth three points to the team’s total.

Ivanique Kemp ran to a fifth-place finish in the final of the 100-meter hurdles. Running out of lane five, the Bahamas native posted a time of 13.25, her fastest wind-legal time of the season. In other event finals, Heymsfield returned from her steeplechase win Saturday to pace the Razorbacks to a 5-7-8 finish at 5,000 meters. George was back on the track for the finals of the 200 meters where she finished in eighth place.

In the team’s lone field-event score of the day, Tamara Myers finished fourth in the triple jump to earn five points. She finished the competition with a season-best mark of 12.99m/42-7.25. Myers posted a 15-place improvement over her 19th-place finish last year at the SEC meet as a freshman.

A tape-delayed broadcast of the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships will air May 23 on ESPNU at 7 p.m. (CT). Arkansas’ postseason schedule continues May 23-25 with the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas. After national qualifiers are decided, the collegiate season will come to a conclusion June 5-8 with the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.

Sunday Results
Team Standings (FINAL)
1. Texas A&M – 117
2. LSU – 112
3. ARKANSAS – 109 
4. Florida – 106
5. Georgia – 87
6. Missouri – 49
7. Kentucky – 46
8. South Carolina – 40
9. Tennessee – 39.50
10. Mississippi State – 35
11. Auburn – 32.50
12. Alabama – 20
13. Vanderbilt – 16
14. Ole Miss – 9

Event Results

200 Meters
8. Regina George – 23.38 [1 point]

400 Meters
1. Regina George – 51.74 [10 points]
3. Sparkle McKnight – 53.01 [6]

800 Meters
6. Stephanie Brown – 2:08.00 [3 points]

1,500 Meters
6. Stephanie Brown – 4:19.12 [3 points]

5,000 Meters
5. Grace Heymsfield – 16:15.75 [4 points]
7. Shannon Klenke – 16:24.42 [2]
8. Semehar Tesfaye – 16:28.30 [1]
9. Jessica Kamilos – 16:28.48
10. Diane Robison – 16:37.87
–. Kaitlin Flattmann – DNF

100m Hurdles
5. Ivanique Kemp – 13.25 [4 points]

400m Hurdles
1. Sparkle McKnight – 55.71 (SR) [10 points]

4x100m Relay
–. Flowers/George/McKnight/Myers – DNF

4x400m Relay
1. Flowers/Williams/McKnight/George – 3:30.06 [10 points]

Triple Jump
4. Tamara Myers – 12.99m/42-7.25 [5 points]

19. Rebecca Gorden – 36.20m/118-9

Red Wolves Men and Women Finish 2nd at Sun Belt Conference Champonships

MIRAMAR, Fla. (5/12/13) – The Arkansas State University track and field teams wrapped up competition at the 2013 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Outdoor Track Championships this Sunday (May 12) as both the men and women registered second-place finishes in the three-day conference meet held at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Fla.

The A-State men’s team, which shared or held the conference meet’s top placing the first two days (May 10-11), registered 131 points to claim runner-up honors and finished seven points in back of Middle Tennessee’s first-place 138 points total.  The ASU women’s squad also claimed first place in the meet’s initial two days, but was unable to maintain its standing a top the points leaderboard as the Red Wolves scored 131 points to place second.  North Texas successfully defended its conference outdoor title by tallying a first-place 151.5 points

“I was pleased with the effort both our men’s and women’s teams gave this weekend,” said second-year ASU head coach Jim Patchell.  “It was a very close and hard fought competition on both sides. We had a couple of missteps and came up a little short of our goal to win both championships.

“However, I do believe we came one step closer to getting this program where it needs to be and I think we have established ourselves as one of the top teams in the Sun Belt (Conference),” added Patchell.

Senior Solomon Williams highlighted the final day of the championships for the Red Wolves, winning the triple jump and 110-meter hurdles.  Williams produced a mark of 51-06.50/15.71m in the triple jump and then turned in a 13.88 time in the 110-meter hurdles.  Junior Chris Nicasio broke his own conference-meet record in the hammer throw by generating a first-place 204-10.65/62.45m distance.  Nicasio’s surpassed his 202-11.00/61.84 performance at the 2012 championships (5/13) and fell just short of bettering his personal career-record 205-08.50/62.70m effort earlier this season (4/5) at the Southeast Missouri State Joey Haines Invitational.  Junior Ethan Sandusky captured first place in the pole vault by clearing a height of 16-06.03/5.03m.  As a result of their respective first-place performances, the three A-State athletes earned first-team all-conference accolades.

Arkansas State posted 10 other scoring performances on Sunday, including junior Joey Meyer’ssecond-place time of 20.97 in the 200-meter dash and junior Kashef Daniel’s second-place tying triple jump 6-08.70/2.05m distance. Shane Heathcock also had a noteworthy outing in the pole vault event, garnering third-place honors as the junior cleared the bar at 16-06.03/5.03m.  Joey Meyer picked up five points in the 100-meter dash with a fourth-place 10.66 time and ran the last leg on A-State’s 4×400-meter relay team which raced to a 3:12.00 time to take fourth place.  Comprising the Red Wolves’ 1,600-meter relay squad besides Meyer were sophomore Devin NoelSolomon Williams, and juniorRichard Williams.

For the ASU women, Sharika Nelvis placed first in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 110-meter hurdles.  Nelvis sprinted to an 11.60 time for top placing in the 100 meters and broke the tape first in the 200 meters by crossing the line in a time of 23.54.  She would net the Red Wolves another first-place 10 points in the 110-meter hurdles by setting a new Sun Belt Outdoor Championship record 13.24 time, bettering the mark of 13.28 established in 2011 (5/15) by North Texas’ Alysha Adams.  Junior Kristina Aubert accounted for A-State’s other first-place showing as she bested all runners in the 5,000-meters with a 17:01.92 time, just missing her league meet mark of 17:00.59 set at last season’s (5/13) conference championships.  Aubert’s team-best 4:35.80 time in the 1,500-meter run earned her fifth place and the Red Wolves four points.

Senior Julia Agawu led ASU in hammer throw as she chalked up second place with a throw of 182-00.25/55.48m.  Arkansas State would collect points on eight other performances, highlighted by three sixth-place showings.  Junior Kim Ludick-Raath was sixth in the javelin at 130-02.98/39.70m and freshman Sabrina Antimo‘s 12.22 time in the 100-meter dash proved worthy of sixth place.  SeniorSamantha Salinas had a sixth-place 17:42.84 time in the 5,000 meters.

After the meet, Solomon Williams was honored as the Sun Belt Conference’s Most Outstanding Field Performer while Sharika Nelvis earned the SBC’s Women’s Most Outstanding Track Performer Award for the second year in a row.  Nelvis, a 2012 U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Second-Team All-America selection, won four events at the 2012 conference outdoor meet en route to achieving most outstanding track performer recognition and was also the 2013 SBC Indoor Championship’s Most Outstanding Performer.

All first-team Sun Belt Conference honors were bestowed upon those individuals who finished first in a running or field event while runner-up finishers received second-team laurels and third-place finishers attained third-team all-league kudos.

2013 Sun Belt Conference Championships Final Team Scores


1. North Texas – 151.5 pts.

2. Arkansas State – 131 pts.

3. South Alabama – 100 pts.

4. Western Kentucky – 87 pts.

5. Middle Tennessee – 83 pts.

6. Louisiana-Lafayette – 67 pts.

7. Georgia State – 57 pts.

8. FIU – 51 pts.

9. Troy – 37 pts.

10. Florida Atlantic – 29 pts.

11. UALR – 14 pts.

12. ULM – 10.5 pts.


1. Middle Tennessee – 138 pts.

2. Arkansas State – 131 pts.

3. Western Kentucky – 126 pts.

4. North Texas – 85 pts.

5. South Alabama – 79.5 pts.

6. ULM – 78 pts.

7. Troy – 77 pts.

8. Louisiana-Lafayette – 44 pts.

9. FIU – 36.5 pts.

10. UALR – 24 pts.

2013 Sun Belt Conference Championships – Individual – Day 3

Women’s Results

Hammer Throw

2. Julia Agawu, 182-00.25 (55.48m)

7. Kim Ludick-Raath, 155-06.14 (47.40m)

Triple Jump

7. Jamie Curry, 39-06.40 (12.05m)

9. Emenderlyn Iwuji, 39-00.10 (11.89m)

13. Jasmine Marks, 37-10.32 (11.54m)

Javelin Throw

6. Kim Ludick-Raath, 130-02.98 (39.70m)

8. Macey Rodely, 122-05.68 (37.33m)

4×100-Meter Relay

10. Jamie CurrySabrina AntimoShakeria MarshallCharlotte Williams – 47.41

1,500-Meter Run

5. Kristina Aubert, 4:35.80

7. Rexi Parcells, 4:40.15

8. Samantha Salinas, 4:42.97

15. Heather Newberry, 5:00.54

110-Meter Hurdles

1. Sharika Nelvis, 13.24

100-Meter Dash

1. Sharika Nelvis, 11.60

6. Sabrina Antimo, 12.22

200-Meter Dash

1. Sharika Nelvis, 23.54

5,000-Meter Run

1. Kristina Aubert, 17:01.92

6. Samantha Salinas, 17:42.84

11. Abbey Dixon, 17:58.69

16. Rexi Parcells, 18:17.05

26. Tilda Helgesson, 18:55.45

27. Chelsey Roberson, 18:57.83

4×400-Meter Relay

9. Kelsey BeanCharlotte WilliamsJamie CurrySabrina Antimo – 3:54.97

Men’s Results

Hammer Throw

1. Chris Nicasio, 204-10.65 (62.45m)

15. Richard Chavez, 153-01.79 (46.68m)

Pole Vault

1. Ethan Sandusky, 16-06.03 (5.03m)

3. Shane Heathcock, 16-06.03 (5.03m)

6. Ethan Turpen, 15-06.21 (4.73m)

Triple Jump

1. Solomon Williams, 51-06.50 (15.71m)

Javelin Throw

10. Thomas Ligon, 164-01.29 (50.02m)

14. Ethan Sandusky, 148-04.70 (45.23m)

High Jump

2T. Kashef Daniel, 6-08.70 (2.05m)

10T. Ethan Turpen, 6-04.76 (6.53m)

4×100-Meter Relay

6. Joey MeyerRaymond JacksonJustin WhitfieldTahshon Reese – 41.42

1,500-Meter Run

11. Jesse Duvall, 4:04.37

20. Briar Becton, 4:11.29

110-Meter Hurdles

1. Solomon Williams, 13.88

5. Billy Ellis, 14.59

6. Lucas Bateman, 14.63

100-Meter Dash

4. Joey Meyer, 10.66

8. Justin Whitfield, 10.82

400-Meter Hurdles

8. Lucas Bateman, 54.10

200-Meter Dash

2. Joey Meyer, 20.97

5,000-Meter Run

14. Lance Beckman, 15:30.06

15. Wil Norris, 15:31.23

19. David Mills, 15:46.04

4×400-Meter Relay

4. Devin NoelSolomon WilliamsRichard WilliamsJoey Meyer – 3:12.00

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