FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas currently sits in second place with 26-points, trailing Alabama by six-points, as the Razorbacks captured an SEC title and qualified several through to finals on day one of the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships at Randal Tyson Friday night.
“I liked the fight our guys are showing,” said head coach Chris Bucknam. “This is going to be a tough battle all the way to the end, we can’t let go of the rope. We got some qualifiers in for tomorrow, I’m really pleased with Boit’s run and the points we captured in the 5,000-meters and the DMR. Those were all positive points, and we’re in the mix,” Bucknam finished.
Gilbert Boit highlighted opening day action for the Razorbacks as he remained undefeated in SEC action. Boit, who captured the SEC Individual Championship last fall, settled in early right up from with the Alabama trio of Gilbert Kigen, Vincent Kiprop, and Noel Rotich and kept pace lap by lap waiting for his moment to strike. That moment came with 400-meters to go as the pack took off in a straight sprint to the finish line. Alabama’s Kigen held the lead coming off the final turn but Boit kicked it in and legged it out over the final 50-meters running through the line to take the title by three one-hundredths of a second over the Crimson competitor to earn his second individual SEC Championship. Arkansas also brought home points with sixth and seventh-place finishes by Austen Dalquist (14:16.02) and Matt Young (14:19.00) to make it a solid 15-points in the event for the Razorbacks.
Laquan Nairn scored points for the Razorbacks with a sixth-place finish in the long jump with a season-best performance of 7.67m (25-2). Nairn will return tomorrow in the triple jump.
The men’s Distance Medley Relay turned in a silver medal performance running 9:48.67 trailing only Ole Miss.
Gabe Moore and Derek Jacobus wrapped up day one of the heptathlon with scores of 3,329 and 3,115-pts., respectively.
Moore recorded marks of 7.05 (60-meters), 7.18m/23-6.75 (long jump), 15.07m/49-5.50 (shot put), and 2.10m/6-7 (high jump), while Jacobus finished with marks of 7.01 – a lifetime-best – 6.93m/22-9, 13.23m/43-5, and 1.95m/6-4.75. The duo will close out the event tomorrow as they compete in the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault, and the 1,000-meters.
Cameron Griffith and Ethan Moehn grabbed auto-Q spots into tomorrow’s Mile final with their first and third-place finishes in their prelim heat running 4:12.77 and 4:13.19.
Jalen Brown and Hunter Woodhall advanced to tomorrow’s final in the 400-meters, recording the seventh and eighth-fastest times from prelims.
Carl Elliot III will back into the blocks tomorrow afternoon in the 60-meter hurdles as he punches his ticket with a time of 7.81 that ties his personal-best in the event and is No. 5 in program history.
Kieran Taylor earned a spot in tomorrow’s 800-meter final with his time of 1:49.29 that is a lifetime-best and the fourth-fastest from prelims.
Roy Ejiakuekwu punched his ticket to the 200-meter final running 20.86 in the prelims – the sixth-fastest on the day.
Arkansas will return to Randal Tyson for day two of the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships tomorrow morning starting at 10:45 a.m.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.