Nine Ra­zor­back All-amer­i­can hon­ors close out NCAA Cham­pi­onships

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - Spe­cial to the Courier

AUSTIN,

Texas – Arkansas wrapped up the 2019 out­door sea­son with a 15th-place fin­ish at the NCAA Men’s Out­door Cham­pi­onships fu­eled by three All-amer­i­can per­for­mances Fri­day at the Univer­sity of Texas’ Mike My­ers Sta­dium..

The Ra­zor­back scored 19 points to bring home yet an­other top-20 fin­ish at the out­door cham­pi­onships fin­ish­ing in a tie for 15th place with North Carolina A&T.

“I’m just ex­tremely proud of this team,” Arkansas Coach Chris Buck­nam said Fri­day. “We bat­tled, fought, and crawled our way to a 15th-place fin­ish af­ter en­ter­ing the meet out­side the top 20 in the rank­ings, a sim­i­lar sce­nario to the in­door cham­pi­onships (fin­ish­ing 13th na­tion­ally in­doors). It’s like I said be­fore af­ter the SEC meet, our cul­ture and our DNA is strong, we com­pete and fight and our mis­sion is to get back on the rung. We want to be No. 1 again and we had a cham­pi­onship-level ef­fort by all our guys and hope­fully this is a cat­a­pult to even bet­ter things next year. Our 4×100 had two fresh­men on it and they turned in a sea­son-best. Cameron [Grif­fith] beat the de­fend­ing NCAA Cham­pion and the de­fend­ing in­door na­tional cham­pion and nearly won it all with a great run. I’m just proud of all th­ese guys and look­ing for­ward to next year.”

Texas Tech won the team ti­tle with 60 points, Florida fol­lowed with 50, Hous­ton third (40), Ge­or­gia was fourth (32.5) and Stan­ford rounded out the top five with 32 points.

The Ra­zor­back 4×100me­ter re­lay of Josh Oglesby, Kris Hari, Tre’bien Gil­bert, and Roy Eji­akuekwu ran a sea­son-best time of 38.58 – the fourth-best per­for­mance

in pro­gram his­tory – to earn a fourth-place fin­ish Fri­day. Florida, the NCAA Cham­pion in the event erased a year-old record set by Hous­ton last sea­son at 38.17 as they sprinted across the line in 37.97 to set a fa­cil­ity record, meet record and a col­le­giate record.

Cameron Grif­fith capped his ca­reer at Arkansas with a huge ef­fort down the fi­nal 100 me­ters past the de­fend­ing NCAA Cham­pion Ol­lie Hoare of Wis­con­sin at the line, se­cur­ing a third-place fin­ish. Grif­fith fin­ished with a time of 3:42.14 to earn the high­est fin­ish of his ca­reer at the NCAA Cham­pi­onships. This marked the sec­ond-ca­reer First-team All-amer­i­can per­for­mance for Grif­fith in the 1,500 me­ters.

Arkansas would have to wait un­til the fi­nal event of the day to step on the track one more time. The 4×400-me­ter re­lay team of John Winn (Bryant), Hunter Wood­hall, Jalen Brown, and Rhayko Schwartz saved their best for last, run­ning a sea­son-best time of 3:03.40 – the fourth-fastest in pro­gram his­tory – for sev­enth place.

On Wed­nes­day, Arkansas se­nior de­cath­lete Gabe Moore, com­ing off a ham­string pull dur­ing Arkansas’ sec­ond-place team fin­ish at the SEC Out­door Cham­pi­onships last month in Fayet­teville, fin­ished a sur­pris­ing third in the NCAA Out­door meet for six team points.

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