FAYETTEVILLE — A windy 46-degrees and spitting rain seldom suits sprinters, but it somehow suited the Arkansas Razorbacks men’s and Razorbacks’ women’s 4 x 100 meter relay team just fine.
For through the damp nastiness the Razorbacks men 4 x 100 of Roiy Ejiakeukwu, Kemar Mowatt, Josh Washington and Kenzo Cotton clocked a winning 39.28 to set a John McDonnell Invitational meet record Saturday that Arkansas hosted at the McDonnell Field outdoor track.
“ We had decent sticks and getting the meet record is pretty cool,” Arkansas Men’s Sprints Coach Doug Case said. “Especially this cold and rainy. It is really fast for Arkansas this early. It bodes well.
The women’s 4 x 100 of Taliyah Brooks, Peyton Stumbaugh, Daina Harper and Kiara Parker won in a UA women’s record 43.75, pleasing Women’s Sprints Coach Chris Johnson, Arkansas Head Coach Lance Harter said.
“Chris thought we could have a good 4 x 100 relay,” Harter said. “It was just the opportunity to put it all together with everybody healthy. Even though Mother Nature was trying to make it as cloudy and event as possible, it was an excellent, excellent time. I am excited to run it again next week (at the LSU hosted SEC Relays in Baton Rouge, La.) in warmer weather because I think it will go even faster. That’s a bonus if that comes through for us. If that takes care of business and the 4 x 400 comes along we’ll be just fine.”
In the first official sum he’s taken this outdoor season, Clive Pullen, Arkansas’ senior 2-time NCAA Indoor champion and Jamaican Olympian, totaled a 52-7 1-2 hop-step-and jump, to a John McDonnell Invitational title and qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Preliminary May 25-27 in Austin, Texas.
“It’s not his kind of weather, but he got the job done,” Arkansas Head Coach Chris Bucknam said. “The main thing was to get a West preliminary qualifying mark, which he did. Now we’ll wait for a day with better conditions.”
It seemed Saturday’s damp chill hardly could have been worse for a jumper from sunny Jamaica.
Pullen said it was Arkansas Men’s Field Events Coach Travis Geopfert’s “call” for him to jump Saturday.
“He wanted me to get the qualifying mark out of the way, which I did comfortably, then save it for LSU Pullen said.
“ I couldn’t feel my toes or my fingertips out there. But I did what I needed to do. just tried to get through it as best I could. Get a fair jump in. I didn’t even land properly. I landed on one leg, but still went over 52 feet.”
Cotton, 10.21, Ejiakeukwu, 10.37 and Washington, 10.40, came back to place second through fourth in the 100-meter dash to Omar McLeod, the former Razorbacks NCAA hurdles champion and the 2016 110-meter hurdles Olympic gold medalist.
Sophomore SEC Indoor champion Tori Weeks of Cabot won Saturday’s weather-affected women’s pole vault at 13-3 1-2 while her twin sister, 2-time NCAA champion and 2016 U.S. Olympian Lexi Weeks did not clear an opening height.
Both Weeks sisters surpassed clearing 15-0 this past indoor season.
Wisconsin, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Arkansas Baptist and Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College competed with Arkansas in the non-scored men’s and women’s meets that except for the 2-day men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon, both concluding today, was condensed into a 1-day meet after torrential rain and lightning postponed Friday’s competition.