SEC Outdoor champs

The Razorback men's track team hoists the SEC trophy Saturday night. The men's and women's teams claimed conference titles during the three-day competition in College Station, Texas.

The Arkansas men’s and women’s track & field teams claimed the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships title at the E.B Cushing Stadium in College Station, Texas, after competition Thursday-Saturday. Combined, the teams have won 20 SEC indoor and outdoor titles.

The women’s team won its ninth overall SEC Outdoor title and completed its seventh SEC triple crown. The No. 2 Razorbacks won their 20th SEC title out of the 21 championships contested in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

By the end of the championships, the women’s team totaled 127 points, creating a 6.5-point margin between the runner-up, No. 1 LSU.

On the first day of the meet, the women’s team was in third, but by the end of the second day, notable performances from sophomore Nastassja Campbell and senior Krissy Gear helped Arkansas advance to first place. Campbell won the gold medal for the pole vault and Gear took gold in the 3,000m steeplechase, setting an Arkansas school and meet record with a time of 9:38.62.

“I think today paid off and showed all of the hard work that we’ve been doing and I was thrilled to help the team out,” Gear said in a post-meet press conference. “Even just an extra two points to get that 10, because at the end of the day, that’s the goal.”

The final day included notable efforts from sophomore Daszay Freeman, who secured the bronze medal in the 100m hurdles, senior Shafiqua Maloney, who won the bronze medal in the 800m, and senior Katie Izzo, who won the silver medal in the 5,000m. The women’s team in the 4x100 relay consisted of junior Yoveinny Mota, senior Jada Baylark, freshman Jayla Hollis, and junior Tiana Wilson, and earned the Razorbacks the bronze medal.

“It was a battle all the way through and we knew we were going to have kind of a triangular with LSU and Alabama,” Razorback women’s head coach Lance Harter said in a post-meet press conference. “They have phenomenal teams and LSU is ranked No. 1 in the nation for a reason. We knew it was probably going to come down to the last day and the last event. Sure enough, it did. We were pleased that we were able to stay in the hunt. I’m elated with the performances from Thursday through today.”

The No. 13 Arkansas men’s track and field team totaled 129 points by the final day of the meet, securing its 16th SEC triple crown.

The men ended the first day of the meet in the lead and kept it until the final day to claim the title. Arkansas won by a 20-point margin over the second-place Alabama Crimson Tide.

The men’s team finished out the first day with senior Gilbert Boit earning a silver medal in the 10,000m with a time of 29:10.98 along with junior Luke Meade earning the bronze medal with a career-best time of 29:22.40. The Razorbacks’ placements in the 10,000m earned the team 22 points.

Notable achievements during the second day of the meet were highlighted by junior Andrew Kibet, who earned the silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase and gained a career best performance with a time of 8:50.49. Sophomore Daniel Spejcher earned the bronze medal in the decathlon and senior LaQuan Nairn earned the bronze medal in the long jump and gained a career best performance with a leap of 8.04m.

The last day consisted of senior Amon Kemboi claiming the 5,000m title with a winning time of 13:52.98, along with junior Emmanuel Cheboson who placed second with a time of 13:59.28. Fourth and fifth place were obtained by senior Gilbert Boit and junior Matt Young, respectively.

“I’m just really proud of this team,” Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam said. “We said coming into this championship it’s a three-day meet and not a one-day meet. There’s a big difference. We usually gain steam and our momentum as we go through each day. We kept plugging along and came out with a big win for the program, the state of Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas. I’m so proud of these guys.”

The Razorbacks’ next outing will be in College Station, Texas, at the NCAA West Preliminary on May 27-29.

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