No. 14 Arkansas will have 27 entries for the NCAA West Preliminary rounds, which will be held at Cushing Stadium in College Station, Texas, the site of the Razorbacks recent SEC Outdoor Championship title.
The NCAA West Preliminary rounds (May 26-29) are the first two rounds of the NCAA Championships, and the top 12 in each event advance to the semifinal and final held in Eugene, Oregon (June 9-12).
“It’s good that we were just there for a three-day conference meet,” stated Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “We kind of know all of the ins and outs of the Texas A&M facility. With it being a new facility, I think it was good for our athletes to be there and experience not only the facility but winning there as well.”
The Razorbacks entry total for the preliminary rounds rank fourth in the nation and lead SEC schools. BYU and Oregon each have 34 entries while Houston totals 31.
Among SEC programs, many of whom compete in the NCAA East, Arkansas’ total is followed by Texas A&M (25), LSU (24), Kentucky (22), Tennessee (22), Florida (19), Ole Miss (17), and Alabama (17).
“There are four rounds to the NCAA Championship and the goal is to get to the last round in Eugene,” said Bucknam. “These first two rounds are important, and we need to treat them like a final as we try to get as many of our athletes to the final two rounds in Eugene.
“The work is cut out for us and the competition will be fierce. We’re going to have to be dialed in like we were at the conference meet if we are going to advance to Eugene.”
The Razorbacks 27 entries include 24 athletes in 14 events in the NCAA West Preliminary round. Arkansas has four entries in the 10,000m along with three each in the 100m, 400m, 110m hurdles and 3,000m steeplechase.
“We like that depth, we like bringing a full team to this meet,” noted Bucknam. “With 73% of the teams qualifying having just one to three athletes in the meet, for us to bring 24 athletes down it gives us that good team feel we need. It gives us a lot of chances to compete and have success.”
A pair of Razorbacks set to compete in the decathlon in Eugene include Markus Ballengee and Daniel Spejcher.
The highest seeded Arkansas entries in the NCAA West include Phillip Lemonious at No. 2 in the 110m hurdles while LaQuan Nairn is No. 3 in the long jump. Other Razorbacks among the top 10 include Tre’Bien Gilbert (4) and Carl Elliott, III (7) in the 110m hurdles, John Baker (8) in the long jump, and the Arkansas 4×400 (8).
A total of 17 schools will have both relays in the NCAA West prelims, while Arkansas is one of three schools (Florida & LSU) to have both 4×100 and 4×400 qualify for the preliminary round since it begin in 2010. The Razorbacks are the lone school to achieve that feat in the NCAA West.
Arkansas men | 29 entries (15 events, 26 athletes)
|100:||7) Roman Turner, 35) Jalen Brown, 38) Kris Hari|
|400:||12) James Milholen, 28) Rhayko Schwartz, 46) Jeremy Farr|
|800:||26) Kieran Taylor|
|5,000:||11) Luke Meade, 12) Amon Kemboi|
|10,000:||17) Matt Young, 20) Emmanuel Cheboson, 22) Gilbert Boit, 42) Myles Richter|
|110H:||2) Phillip Lemonious, 4) Tre’Bien Gilbert, 7) Carl Elliott, III|
|400H:||16) Nick Hilson|
|Steeple:||24) Andrew Kibet, 34) Emmanuel Cheboson, 38) Carter Persyn|
|4×100:||11) Arkansas (Turner, Clark, Gilbert, Brown)|
|4×400:||8) Arkansas (Farr, Milholen, Hilson, Schwartz)|
|PV:||19) Etamar Bhastekar|
|LJ:||3) LaQuan Nairn, 8) John Baker|
|TJ:||5) LaQuan Nairn|
|HT:||12) Ruben Banks|
|*Dec:||5) Markus Ballengee, 10) Daniel Spejcher|
*Arkansas total entries of 29 includes two athletes in decathlon, which will be contested in Eugene