John McDonnell Invitational Advance

Nate Allen

FAYETTEVILLE – Because rain isn’t in Sunday’s Fayetteville forecast but is for Friday and Saturday, the Arkansas Razorbacks men’s and women’s track programs will conduct their 2-day John McDonnell Invitational meet at the John McDonnell Field Outdoor Track on Saturday and Sunday instead of Friday and Saturday as originally scheduled.

Alabama, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Arkansas State, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the University of Central Arkansas.

Saturday’s running events run from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Sunday.

The bulk of the 2-day field events will occur Saturday afternoon into the evening.

After an indoor track season of no fans allowed because of the covid-19 pandemic even while hosting the NCAA and SEC Indoor Championships, the UA with an outdoor setting and increasing vaccine availability is allowing fans to attend the McDonnell Invitational.

“One reason we moved the meet from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday was hoping to catch better weather and people will come out and catch some track and field,” Arkansas Men’s Coach Chris Bucknam said.

Arkansas Women’s Coach Lance Harter said, “It’s nice to have fans celebrate our athletes. Obviously indoors was pretty lonely except for our own athletes and the men’s team and women’s team cheering for each other.”

Weather permitting, both coaches expect performances to cheer their crowd while preparing for the SEC Outdoor Championships May 13-15 in College Station, Texas and advancing qualifiers to the NCAA West Regionals May 27-29 in College Station.

“If Mother Nature will cooperate we’ve got to keep improving across the board what we’ve established,” Harter said. “Because we’re running out of competitions. The SEC meet is coming fast.”

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