Ruben Banks Registers Another Weight Throw Victory


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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas freshman Ruben Banks claimed his second consecutive victory in the weight throw for the Arkansas men’s track and field team  on Friday’s  first day of the Razorback Invitational while Oregon capped the Friday session with another collegiate record in the distance medley relay at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Saturday’s action starts at 10:15 a.m. with the continuation of the heptathlon, where Razorback Markus Ballengee is currently in second place, while running events begin at 12:30 p.m.

The Ducks crushed their previous record set here a year ago with a 9:19.42 from the foursome of Cole Hocker, Luis Peralta, Charlie Hunter, and Cooper Teare. Oregon set the previous record of 9:24.52 during last year’s Razorback Invitational. Iowa State (9:27.90) and Ole Miss (9:30.62) finished second and third.

After setting a school record of 71-4.25 (21.75) last week, Banks registered another win with a toss of 69-9.5 (21.27), which also bettered the previous UA record of 69-6 (21.18) and topped the field by four-plus feet with Oregon throwers, Mason Strunk (65-5) and Tyler Arbaugh (65-4.25) placing second and third. 

Razorback teammate Ben Ryer placed eighth in the weight throw with a mark of 53-0.75 (16.17), which moved him to No. 8 on the Arkansas all-time list. Ryer produced three throws over 50 feet in the competition. 

Ryan Brown’s leap of 24-9 (7.54) placed him second in the long jump behind a 25-4 (7.72) by Ole Miss jumper Allen Gordon. Arkansas freshman John Baker placed fifth with a 24-3.75 (7.41).

A runner-up in the pole vault, Rhett Nelson cleared 16-4.75 (5.00) on his third attempt, which matched the winning height by Peyton Weissmann of Ole Miss, who made the bar on his second try.

Adam Clark placed third in the high jump with a clearance of 6-7 (2.01) as USC’s Earnie Sears soared over 7-5 (2.26) for the victory. Jalon Brown finished third in the 200 with a 21.18, just off his 21.16 career best, while the race was claimed by Georgia’s Matthew Boling in 20.53.

Through the first day of the heptathlon, Ballengee is in second place with a score of 3,160 points. He trails leader Karel Tilga of Georgia (3,202) by 42 points. Daniel Spejcher sits in sixth place with 3,208 points while Etamar Bhastekar is eighth with a tally of 2,986. 

Ballengee’s marks on day one of the multi included 7.16 in the 60m (826), 22-11.75 (811) in the long jump, 46-5.25 (738) in the shot put and 6-6 (785) in the high jump.

Spejcher set a pair of career best marks of 7.12 (840) and 22-9.75 (799) and followed with a 44-11.5 (710) and 6-1.75 (679). Bhastekar opened with PRs of 6.97 (893) and 22-11.25(811), then added 34-10.5 (524) and 6-4.75 (758).

The remaining events in the heptathlon include the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000m.

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