Track runner-up to Oregon
FAYETTEVILLE - Only at Arkansas it seems, is a team finishing with a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships deemed coming up short.
Coach Chris Bucknam's Razorbacks men, minus the 16 points that distance runners Kemoy Campbell (redshirting with an injured Achilles) and Stanley Kebenei (hardshipping indoors because of mononucleosis) and long jumper Raymond Higgs (injured on his first jump last Friday) combined for when Arkansas won last year's NCAA Indoor in Fayetteville, were second with 54 points to Oregon's 62 at the NCAA Indoor last Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Oregon won it dominating the distances while the Hogs, other than their 1,200-meter leadoff leg and mile anchor on their seventh-place distance medley relay, had no qualifier in any race above the 800. Nevertheless, the Razorbacks, nationally ranked No. 2 to Florida's No. 1 despite defeating Florida to win the SEC Indoor three weekends ago in College Station, Texas, outscored third-place Florida by 19 in Albuquerque while sporting two national champions, sophomore Jarrion Lawson, 27-6 1-2 in the long jump, and freshman Omar McLeod, 7.58, 60-meter hurdles.
Lance Harter's Razorbacks women, particularly distance runners Dominique Scott, Stephanie Brown and Grace Heymsfield, "went beyond expectations" Harter said. Between them, Scott, Brown and Heymsfield were involved in scoring 29 of the 30 points Arkansas tallied to finish sixth in the nation as Oregon won the women's meet, too.
Joined by junior quarter-miler Chrishuana Williams, Brown, 800, Heymsfield, 1,200, and Scott on the anchor mile won the Arkansas women's first-ever NCAA distance medley relay title. Brown also took second in the mile, while Scott and Elkins native Heymsfield were second and sixth in the 3,000.
With Sunday's morning rain turned to snow, the first of the Arkansas Razorbacks' 15 spring football practices was rerouted to an indoor workout inside the Walker Pavilion.
Sunday's workout, the first of two NCAA mandated noncontact practices without pads, was closed to the public and media.
KILLIAN DESERVES BETTER
For this Razorbacks' baseball season, Trey Killian now stands 0-3.
At the least he ought to be 2-1. The University of Arkansas sophomore Norfork native and Mountain Home High grad, or anyone else pitching like Killian has pitched his last two starts, doesn't deserve defeats accompanying his most recent efforts.
Two Sundays ago against the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, Calif., Killian threw seven complete innings into the eighth, scattered five hits and allowed one earned run. He was charged with a 2-1 defeat. The winning run scored on an eighth-inning error.
With Arkansas coming off a 2-1 Friday night loss opening its SEC opening series in Gainesville, Fla., against the Florida Gators, Killian on Saturday threw a complete game. For eight innings he scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked but one and consecutively retired 10.
But he was tagged for a first-inning home run and the Razorbacks never scored. So he lost 1-0.
At California, Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn marveled about Killian against the Golden Bears.
"He battled," Van Horn said during the postgame in Berkeley. "He was a warrior out there. He'll tell you his breaking ball was not there the first three or four innings and then he found the breaking ball. He battled his butt off; was really proud of him. He hung in there, got a lot of fly balls and spotted a lot of pitches."
At Gainesville, Killian merited praise again.
"He did a great job," Van Horn said. "He gave up a solo home run (to Peter Alonso on a full count) with two outs in the first inning on a fastball out over the plate. The ball jumps here when the sun is out for the most and the ball got out of the park. He got in trouble a couple of other innings and battled his way out of it. I thought we did a good job playing defense for the second day in a row as did Florida. Again, we just didn't get a hit."
Arkansas bats awoke Sunday to flog Florida, 9-3.
Back to Baum Stadium, the Razorbacks host Grambling State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday then host their first SEC series with Alabama arriving for games at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.