COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Distance points flowed for the Razorbacks on Friday during the first day of the SEC Indoor Championships as Emmanuel Cheboson claimed the first Arkansas victory. In team scoring the Razorbacks lead the field with 35 points through five scored finals.
A total of 19 points were secured in the 5,000m by Arkansas as Cheboson produced a time of 13:52.72 for the victory over a 13:57.10 from Missouri’s Thomas George with Matt Young earning a bronze medal in 13:57.28. Gilbert Boit tacked on more points for the Razorbacks in placing sixth in 14:08.78.
“The 5k and DMR was a good way to end the evening,” Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam said. “Obviously, we can’t look behind us, we just need to press forward and get after it tomorrow.”
Following Arkansas in the team scoring are Tennessee (32), Missouri (20), Mississippi (20), and Alabama (18).
Silver medal performances included Laquan Nairn in the long jump along with the Razorback distance medley relay.
Nairn hit a career best of 26-3 ¾ (8.02) in the third round and briefly held the overall lead. He generated a very solid series and added eight team points with the performance. His effort moves him to No. 8 on the Arkansas all-time list, bumping Edrick Floreal from the top 10.
“I’m just so proud of him,” Bucknam stated. “He got over eight meters, had a great series on top of that. It just wasn’t one jump. He’s been a real spark to our whole program this year.”
Running on the Arkansas distance medley relay were Luke George (3:01.43), Travean Caldwell (47.85), Reese Walters (1:52.42) and Cameron Griffith (4:00.30).
Through the first day of the heptathlon, Markus Ballengee leads the Razorback crew with 3,096 points and is currently in second place behind event leader Kyle Garland of Georgia (3,314). Arkansas also has Daniel Spejcher (4th | 2,972 pts), Tyler Brendel (6th | 2,921) and Etamar Bhastekar (10th | 2,791) in contention for points.
“We got off to a great start with the heptathlon,” Bucknam noted. “The multi-eventers did a phenomenal job. What’s really encouraging about that is the fact that they’re great second day performers.”
Cameron Griffith eased to a prelim victory in the mile, clocking 4:10.93, to advance to the final. Things didn’t go as smooth in the 60m as a false start knocked out Kris Hari. A time of 6.76 was recorded by three sprinters, two of them Razorbacks, Keyshawn Andrews and Roman Turner, and Andrews earned the position in the final by 0.003 of a second over Tex¬¬as A&M’s Ryan Martin.
Jalen Brown was the lone Razorback to reach the final of the 400m, posting a section win in 46.94. Arkansas freshman Jeremy Farr, who won another section in 47.36, ended up ninth overall with the top eight advancing.
Kieran Taylor advanced in the 800m, posting a time of 1:49.91. Carl Elliott III made it through in the 60m hurdles at 7.85, but Tre’Bien Gilbert placed ninth overall in 7.96.
RAZORBACKS QUALIFYING TO FINAL
60: Keshawn Andrews, 6.76
800: Kieran Taylor, 1:49.91.
400: Jalen Brown, 46.94
Mile: Cameron Griffith, 4:10.93
60H: Carl Elliott III, 7.85.