UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS MEN’S TRACK & FIELD
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – An impressive Arkansas Razorbacks men’s track debut in the 60m hurdles by Phillip Lemonious resulted in a victory with a time of 7.79 seconds, which is equal to the fifth fastest time in Arkansas history. Three additional Hog wins among solid performances in the Randal Tyson Track Center produced a team victory at the Arkansas Qualifier on Friday.
“Phillip was finally able to go out there and in his first race, even with all the other hectic things going on, get a win and put a nice time up,” said Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “He’s happy to wear the uniform.
“My hats off to Phillip, we brought him in at the semester break and we had some paperwork issues that held him out of competition until the 11th hour today. He’s been in a waiting mode for the last three weeks.”
Trailing Lemonious, the 2020 NJCAA champion, in a very tight finish were Sam Brixey of Washington State (7.80) along with a pair of Razorbacks, Carl Elliott, III (7.81) and Tre’Bien Gilbert (7.83).
Winning the 4×400 relay enabled nationally No. 2 Arkansas to claim the team victory with 83 points. Missouri scored 76 as runner-up. With 49 points each, Kansas and Kansas State tied for third place. The rest of the field included Arizona (48), Arizona State (45), Washington State (38.5) and UCLA (25.5).
“While these meets don’t count towards qualifying for nationals as a team, or anything like that, I think it’s important to keep score,” Bucknam stated. “It tells a story each time you can compete.
“We were thrilled to have some different teams in here than we’re used to having, such as Washington State and UCLA. It was great to have them in here, and it was great to beat them.”
The Razorback relay foursome of Rhayko Schwartz (48.38), Jalen Brown (45.93), Jadon Bartholomew (47.49), and James Milholen (47.07) cruised to a 3:08.87 win over Kansas State (3:11.20) and UCLA (3:14.82).
A second Arkansas crew posted a 3:14.85 to win its section and finish fourth with a line-up of Tre’Bien Gilbert, Kieran Taylor, Ethan Carney, and Reese Walters, who set a career best of 4:12.99 in the mile earlier.
“That 4×400 is coming together, and it’s a work in progress as well,” noted Bucknam. “It’s nice to get a victory in the relay. We didn’t run it last week for various reasons, simply for safety and not getting guys hurt after a busy weekend we had and lost the meet to Oregon by a point.”
Amon Kemboi clocked 7:52.70 to win the 3,000m by over 10 seconds. It’s the top time by a collegian in meet history while the second best overall. Post collegian Ryan Vail ran 7:52.17 in 2009, while the previous best by a collegian was an 8:01.67 from Razorback Scott McPherson in 2010.
On the current collegiate list, the time ranks Kemboi sixth.
“Amon did a good job,” noted Bucknam. “We missed an opportunity with him last week due to some covid protocols. But everything came out fine, and he was able to practice this week. We got a good qualifier in and I think that time should be good enough to get him in the national championship.
“These kids always want to run faster and I think he’s ready to run faster than that. We did what we had to do today with him and got that qualifier in for him.”
Career best times were set by a pair of Razorbacks in the 3,000m as Tommy Romanow ran 8:15.03 and Josh Shearer finished in 8:19.50 to place sixth and seventh overall.
A season debut by Kristoffer Hari also resulted in a victory at 60 meters as he ran 6.77 to handle the challenge from Arizona State’s Antonio Mitchell (6.81).
Runner-up efforts included a 17-7 (5.36) vault for Etamar Bhastekar and a 6-6 ¾ (2.00) high jump by Adam Clark. Zach Bradford of Kansas claimed the pole vault title at 18-8 ¾ (5.71) after entering the competition at 18-1. A 6-10 ¾ (2.10) clearance earned the high jump title for Mitch Jacobson of Washington State.
On the track, Milholen posted a 46.75 as runner-up in the 400m behind a 46.26 by Kyle Gale of Kansas State from another section. Andrew Kibet made his track debut in the 800m, placing third in 1:51.58.
Arizona’s Jordan Geist broke the meet record in the shot put with a toss of 64-7 ¼ (19.69), topping the previous mark of 62-5 ¾ (19.04) set in 2020 by Missouri Southern’s Rajindra Campbell.