Razorback Men, Women Qualify 32 Athletes For NCAA Nationals

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  – A successful final day at the 2014 West Preliminary pushed four individuals and two relays through to Eugene, Ore., bringing the individual qualifying list to 15 for Arkansas. The No. 4 Razorbacks will have  total entries at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Following Saturday's competition,
Omar McLeod (110H), Stanley Kebenei (5,000-meter), Raymond Higgs (long jump) and Anthony May (long jump) will represent the No. 4 Razorbacks at the Outdoor Championships following Friday’s qualifying performances. In addition, the men’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams will compete for a national title in Eugene.

A season-best performance in the 4x100 at 39.37 will send
Eric Hawkins, Jarrion Lawson, Neil Braddy and McLeod to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The quartet clocked the ninth-fastest time in Arkansas school history to advance.
"It was a very successful weekend for us," said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. "We pretty much got everthing we expected heading to Eugene. Our guys have been competing since January, it's a long grind. This can be a cruel meet because of everything at stake, but we got through it and everything went well. We had a lot of qualifiers this weekend."

Braddy’s late push in the anchor leg of the 4x400 put the Razorbacks in second place in their heat to finish in 3:06.07 for an automatic qualifying spot. McLeod led the relay, followed by
Travis Southard and Eric Janise who gained ground to put Braddy in position to move up in the pack and notch the automatic qualifying spot.
McLeod made a strong statement in the 110-meter hurdles, clock 13.44 for his second automatic qualifying performance of the day. His time gives the McLeod sole possession of the all-time No. 2 spot in Arkansas school history. The freshman will go for his second NCAA Title in Eugene, heading into the Outdoor Championships as the 2014 Indoor National Champion in the 60-meter hurdles.
After qualifying in long jump on Friday, Higgs and May turned around to double qualify in triple jump as well. Higgs leaped out to a personal-best 51-6.5 on his first jump of the day to take the No. 1 spot. After dropping to 10th place in the final round, a fifth-attempt jump of 52-2.75 would improve Higgs' PR and move him into the top three for an automatic bid to Eugene. May made it into the finals, earning a mark of 51-10 on a fifth-round jump to give the senior his second qualifying mark of the weekend.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  – On day three of the 2014 NCAA West Preliminary, the No. 8 University of Arkansas qualified four individuals and the 4x400-meter relay for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Along with day one and two qualifiers, the Razorbacks will be represented in Eugene, Ore. by Kirsten Hesseltine (high jump), Stephanie Brown (1,500m), Dominique Scott (5,000m) and Diane Robison (5,000m). In addition, the 4x400 relay team of Daina Harper, Regine Williams, Taylor Ellis-Watson and Chrishuna Williams will head to Eugene in two weeks. Arkansas will have 17 individuals competing at the NCAA Championships in 16 events.

Hesseltine punch her first-career ticket to the NCAA Championships with a clean performance through 5-9.75 to secure a spot in Eugene. The senior closed out the weekend as the seventh women’s field athlete to advance to the outdoor championships.

"I am so excited," said Hesseltine of her NCAA qualifying performance. "It's a huge blessing. So many of Coach Compton's girls made it, it was my time to finish it out today. I went in knowing I had to clear each bar on the first attempt. To be able to do that was great."

The field events went 8-for-8 in qualifying events, with Tamara Myers doubling in long jump and triple jump.

The distance crew continued their success with Robison (16:21.67) and Scott (16:00.03) advancing in the 5,000-meter, both automatic qualifiers. Robison is headed to her first-ever NCAA Track and Field Championship.

"It's a dream come true," said Robison. "I was a little scary having a big pack there, I didn't know what would happen. I just tried to stay calm throughout and use it to my advantage, and I was able to pull ahead."

Brown was dominant in the 1,500-meter, finishing the day with the top-qualifying time at 4:15.94. Brown was a member of the 2013 Indoor National Champion DMR team and will look to earn another title in Eugene.

The 4x400-meter relay team of Harper, R. Williams, Ellis-Watson and C. Williams notched 3:31.07 for an overall fourth-place finish and automatic qualifying time. C. Williams was also a member of the Indoor Champion DMR team, hoping to help the 4x400 to an outdoor title.

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