Claremore Daily Progress

January 20, 2013

No. 1 Arkansas men's track team shines at Texas A&M

Arkansas Media Relations
Arkansas Media Relations

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — In its second meet of the year, and first on the road, the No. 1 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team collected five event wins, four personal-best efforts and a meet record Saturday afternoon at the Texas A&M Triangular. The Razorbacks were paced by winning efforts from Tarik Batchelor, Caleb Cross, Kevin Lazas, Tomas Squella and Cale Wallace.

Saturday’s meet at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium in College Station, Texas, was a scored meet featuring the top-ranked Razorbacks, No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 10 LSU. Arkansas finished the meet in second place with 99 points in the team standings. The host Aggies won the meet with 128.5 points and LSU was third with 82.5 points.

Cross picked up the Razorbacks’ first win of the day with his win in the 60-meter hurdles. Running in the first of two sections, the Newport, Ark., native crossed the finish line in 7.89. The result marked Cross’ second win in as many weeks. He won the 60 meters last weekend at the season-opening dual meet with Texas. Cross was also the team’s top performer at 60 meters Saturday.

At 800 meters, Squella pulled away for a victory in a time of 1:49.81. He was the only sub-1:50 performer in Saturday’s competition. He was followed by Ryan Thomas in fourth place and Drew Butler in sixth. The win was Squella’s second of the season after last weekend’s victory at 1,000 meters during the Arkansas-Texas Dual.

The Razorbacks posted a 1-2 performance at 3,000 meters and were led in the event by Wallace, the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week. He crossed the finish line in 8:21.27, just ahead of teammate Cameron Efurd who followed in second place with a personal-best time of 8:22.41. Based on times entering the weekend, Wallace’s time at 3,000 meters ranks second in the SEC.

In his first indoor competition since the 2011 season, Tarik Batchelor made his season debut with a victory in the triple jump. He had a day’s best mark of 15.65m/51-4.25, nearly two feet past the spot of the second-place finisher. He was joined in the event’s top three by teammate Anthony May II who finished third in the triple jump with a 14.82m/48-7.5 effort.

The final field competition of the day ended with Lazas breaking the Texas A&M dual-meet record and establishing a personal-best clearance of 5.27m/17-3.5 on his final attempt of the meet. Last week at the Arkansas-Texas Dual, Lazas equaled his then-previous best of 5.20m/17-0.75.

Other personal-best results came from Devin Randall in the shot put (16.42m/53-10.5) and weight throw (16.92m/55-6.25). He was the event runner-up in the shot put to go along with second-place performances from May in the long jump, Raymond Higgs in the high jump and the Razorbacks’ distance-medley relay team of Nathanael Franks, Stanley Kebenei, Andrew Pisechko and Patrick Rono.

The Texas A&M Triangular was scored on a 7-5-4-3-2-1 scale with the top two individuals per team scoring points. In the relays, the points were based on a 7-5-4 scale and only one team per school could score.

With Saturday’s meet in the books, Arkansas returns to action next weekend as the host of the Razorback Team Invitational in Fayetteville. The two-day meet will be contested Jan. 25-26 at the Randal Tyson Track Center and is scheduled to feature seven teams ranked in the USTFCCCA preseason projections poll.