Razorbacks Ready to Face Aggies
After starting the indoor season with an 85-78 victory in a dual meet against No. 3 Texas, the Arkansas men’s track and field team is ready for another challenge.
This weekend, they will travel to College Station, Texas, to compete in the Texas A&M Triangular, where they will put their No. 1 ranking on the line against Southeastern Conference foes No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 10 LSU.
“It’ll be good to get down there and get a taste of good competition,” UA head coach Chris Bucknam said. “It could be a mini preview of what’s to come (in the SEC).”
Senior middle distance runner Leoman Momoh suffered a hamstring injury in the dual meet against Texas, but he should be back by the end of this week, Bucknam said.
With his best opening mark of his career, senior Caleb Cross finished the 60-meter hurdles in 7.79 seconds. Bucknam believes Cross is one of the best hurdlers in the country and expects him to improve his time this weekend.
He also expects several other Razorbacks to improve in College Station. Junior jumper Raymond Higgs posted the top NCAA long jump of the season with a distance of 26-1, while not at his full approach.
Freshman jumper Jarrion Lawson “also shows some great promise” for improvement at the Texas A&M Triangular, Bucknam said. Lawson had a long jump of 25 1/2.
In the mile, freshman Cale Wallace ran the fastest time in the SEC this season with a time of 4:08.63 and had a “real strong last lap,” Bucknam said.
“He’s a real hard worker and a great competitor,” Bucknam said. “We originally had him running the 800-meter, but we moved some guys around and bumped him up to the mile.”
The women’s team will also travel to College Station for the Texas A&M Triangular.
They are coming off an 81-61 victory over Oklahoma State in a dual meet and own the No. 7 ranking. This weekend, they’ll face No. 4 LSU and No. 6 Texas A&M.
“We’re going to have to step up big time,” UA head coach Lance Harter said. “We have some newcomers that are in for a hard dose of reality.”
The Tigers and Aggies both “have great balance this year,” Harter said.
Texas A&M is led by senior distance runner Natosha Rogers, who won the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA Championships.
Senior sprinter Kim Duncan won the Bowerman Award, which is given to collegiate track and field’s top athlete, for LSU last year.
“If you don’t chase (Duncan) fast, you’re going to get run over,” Harter said. “Those type of people can embarrass you very quickly.”
However, Harter knows his team can hang with this tough competition. Sophomore jumper Tamara Myers won the SEC Field Athlete of the Week award for her performance against Oklahoma State and “looks like a whole new athlete this year,” Harter said.
While they were held out from the Oklahoma State dual meet, senior sprinter Regina George and junior distance runner Grace Heymsfield will race in College Station.
Both Bucknam and Harter are excited to compete at Texas A&M’s indoor track.
“Texas A&M has a great facility,” Bucknam said.
“A&M’s track is fast,” Harter said. “I think we’re going to have the opportunity to have some good national marks.”