Track Advance

Nate Allen

FAYETTEVILLE – Perhaps the Pac 12 should move its indoor track departments to Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center in Fayetteville.

Because adding Friday’s Arkansas Qualifying field to the Pac 12 schools that have competed here already it seems about all the the league’s track schools but the University of Washington will have competed here before their national qualifiers compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships that the Razorbacks No. 1 rated women’s and men’s teams host March 12-13.

UCLA, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah from the Pac 12 join Kansas and Kansas State from the Big 12 and SEC schools Missouri, Vanderbilt’s women’s team and the Razorbacks of Coach Chris Bucknam’s men and Coach Lance Harter’s women in Friday’s Arkansas Qualifier’s meet.

Pac 12 powers Southern California, Oregon, Colorado and Stanford already have competed at Randal Tyson including USC commuting from Los Angeles on consecutive weeks.

“Everyone wants to come to our track because it’s so fast,” Harter said. “And the West Coast because of covid (restrictions) is having trouble finding places to go.”

Even the San Francisco 49ers NFL team was chased out of its training quarters because of local covid restrictions.

With the NCAA Cross Country Championships postponed from last November to the March 15 Monday after the NCAA Indoor, Harter and Bucknam will rest most of their long distance runners this week for the stretch run of next week’s Tyson Invitational, the Feb. 25-27 SEC Indoor Championships and NCAA Indoor Championships but this will be a big meet for Arkansas’ hurdlers, sprinters and field events.

It also will be big for Bucknam’s best distance runner, Amon Kemboi. Kemboi who clocked a best in the world for 2021 3:58.26 mile earlier his indoor season, was supposed to aim for national qualifiers last week in the 3,000-meters and anchoring Arkansas’ distance medley relay mile leg.

However because of close association with someone because what eventually proved to be a false covid positive test, Kemboi was not allowed to compete at last week’s Razorback Invitational.

Kemboi will run the 3,000 at Friday’s meet and anchor the distance medley at the Tyson Invitational, Bucknam said.

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