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A youngster’s questions and answers with Arkansas’ Woodhall

Editor’s Note: Eleven-year-old J.D. Olson, the son of HitThatLine.com contributor Nate Olson, sat down with Arkansas track star and double amputee, Hunter Woodhall, as the 2020 indoor season was winding down and the outdoor season was set to begin before the pandemic halted SEC spring sports. J.D. just finished fifth grade at Collegeville Elementary School in Bryant.


By J.D. Olson
Special to HitThatLine.com

Hunter Woodhall’s track accomplishments would be impressive if he had two good legs. He doesn’t. A condition caused Woodhall’s parents to make the decision to amputate his legs when he was 11 months old.

Even though he faced much adversity growing up, he eventually found track and his success helped him to become more accepted by his classmates.

Woodhall, who is from Utah, began to excel on the track in high school. He was ranked No. 20 in the nation in the 400 meters with a top time of 47.32 seconds. He won a bronze medal in the 400 meters and a silver medal in the 200 meters at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

Syracuse, Utah, mayor Terry Palmer declared Sept. 15, “Hunter Woodhall Day,” and he was named 2016 Male High School Track Athlete of the Year.

He became the first double amputee to earn a Division I scholarship when he signed with the University of Arkansas. He ran six indoor meets as a freshman and recorded a personal best 1:58.04 in the 800-meters.

He ran a best time of 47.42 in the 400-meters and was a bronze medalist in the 4×400-meter relay at the SEC Outdoor Championships.

He was named to the First-Team All-American Team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after his 4×400-meter relay team finished sixth.

As a sophomore, Woodhall was an All-American during the indoor and outdoor seasons and ran a lifetime best 46.22 in the 400 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships. He ran a personal best 1:50.68 in the 800 meters during the indoor season.

Woodhall hoped his junior season would be his best yet.

His 4×400 meter relay team took second as the SEC Indoor Championships, and he qualified for the indoor nationals in the 4×400 meters and distance medley relay. The 4×400 team won the event at the Arkansas Invitational and ran the fifth-fastest time in school history and was ranked as the fastest 4×400 team in the nation in February.

The indoor season ended suddenly before the NCAA Indoor Championships, and the outdoor season was canceled before it began due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I learned about Woodhall’s story while following him on the social media app Instagram. He posts many inspirational videos on the app. When someone asked about why he doesn’t have any legs, he told his story, which had millions of likes and views.

That story caused Ellen DeGeneres to invite him on her daytime talk show. Ellen then surprised Woodhall with a $20,000 check to use for his expenses to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, which have now been postponed.

I had a chance to sit down with Woodhall during the indoor season. We talked about his childhood, signing with the Hogs, going on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and more.

Q: Were you bullied growing up because of your legs?

A: Yeah, I went through a lot of bullying. I was home schooled until I was in the fifth grade. My parents started a business, and they didn’t have time to home school me anymore, and I went to public school. I went through a lot of bullying in fifth grade and into sixth grade as well. It wasn’t until I got to junior high where I found some friends who really treated me like I should have been. I had some friends who really cared about me.

Q: Did you play any other sports growing up?

A: I played all kinds of sports. Both of my brothers played sports, and I just wanted to follow in their footsteps. I started with T-ball, and then soccer and I played basketball and wrestled. I obviously ran track and played football. Basically, anything I could try out I did. I wanted to do what my brothers were doing.

Q: Was there a time you wanted to quit or doubted yourself?

A: Absolutely. There’s been so many times in my life, especially in sports, where things have gotten really hard, and I’ve questioned if it’s the right thing to be doing or not. When you get past those points and fight through that and come out the other side, you come out a better person and better athlete. I think it’s our hard times and our failures, which really define who we are.

Q: How did you first get into track? Was it a hobby at first, or was it something you were really focused on from the beginning?

A: That’s a good question. I started running 5Ks and things with my family – fun runs over the holidays and things like that. Like I said, I went through a lot of bullying, and when I got to junior high, the few friends I did have, were on the track team. So, I started running track because I felt comfortable on the team and felt comfortable being around my friends. That’s actually what got me running.

Q: Was there anyone who impacted your life like a coach or family member?

A: My family, obviously, had a huge impact on where I am today and everything I have been through but also, specifically my dad was always a really big influence in my life. There’s a number of different people in my life who showed they believed in me. A lot of times, they believed in me more than I believed in myself probably. A big reason I am where I am today is because of the people I have had in my life.

Q: What has been your main motivation?

A: There have been a lot of people behind me, but one of the biggest motivators for me is I have just been scared to let those people down. Not just one specific person but everyone who has taken the time to say they believed in me or defend me or something like that. The moment I give up or stop chasing my dreams is when I let them down. To know they believe in me and want me to succeed – I have to do whatever I can to prove them right.

Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out you had an offer from Arkansas?

A: Excited I would say. My recruiting process was extremely difficult. I had really hard time getting colleges to recruit me just because I was missing my legs. It had always been a dream of mine to compete in a conference such as the SEC. Just to be able to have that moment and share it, not only with my family, but also the people that have supported me to this point. That was a big deal in my life and real emotional.

Q: What was one of the most important tools you used to become an athlete?

A: I would say discipline is the biggest one. Discipline is such an overarching topic, and it can be applied to so many parts of your life. It always flows over to different parts. For example, when you are disciplined in the classroom, you are probably going to be even more disciplined when it comes to your sport or the chores you are doing or all of those things. When you can be disciplined in all aspects of your life, they all coincide. It’s hard to put a little bit of effort into one thing and think you are going to be all in and 110 percent in another thing.

Q: When you first came to Arkansas what were your thoughts when you struggled a little bit individually?

A: My freshman year was really difficult for me. I wasn’t used to the training, and I wasn’t used to how fast everyone was running in the NCAA, so it was really hard for me to adjust. It was one of those times I talked about earlier when you go through a hard time or hardship, and you have to reevaluate and keep pushing on. It was a lesson for me that I can’t take anything for granted, and if you want to compete at the highest level,  or you want to be at the highest level, in anything you are doing it is going to take some work.

Q: What was it like being on The Ellen show and knowing hundreds of thousands of people were watching?

A: It was so cool. I think it was amazing to be around someone who has such a positive outlook on life and puts so much love back into the world. Just to be able to use my story and what I have been through to impact somebody else’s life, that’s what it is all about. That’s very special.

PHOTO BY NATE OLSON | HITTHATLINE.COM

Q: Have people ever said anything about your artificial legs being an advantage in your running?

A: Yeah, I get that a lot, and usually … It happens the faster I run the more people are complaining. That is just one of those things where when things start happening in the public eye and people start watching, there’s always going to be people saying negative things. I think in my mind, we are not going to focus on the people that are being negative because that is going to take away from the people who are supporting us – right? It makes more sense to put all of our effort and attention into people that are supporting us and saying kind things.

Q: What is a piece of advice you want to give to other kids and athletes who are dealing with disabilities?

A: I think not even for disabilities, but everyone – it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, success is something you decide to do. If you have a dream, there is nothing that separates you from the person sitting next to you in class or the person on TV. We are all humans, right? The thing that makes you successful is how much do you want it, and how much do you want to work? And are you going to make sacrifices for that? So, just chase your dreams regardless of who you are and where you are.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Bucknam says Razorbacks’ 23rd indoor championship big accomplishmen

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Arkansas swept to the 23rd SEC Indoor team championship in school history in an intense battle at Gilliam Stadium on Saturday.

The Razorbacks claimed the title with 106 points followed by LSU (88), host Texas A&M (82), Florida (75), Tennessee (67) and Kentucky (55.5).

“We got back on the top rung again,” head coach Chris Bucknam said following the Hogs’ championship effort. “I hope Razorback nation and the state of Arkansas are happy that we won the toughest conference in the country, we won the championship. It feels good to be able to give that back. Winning this league is a huge accomplishment.”

Cameron Griffith won his third consecutive SEC Indoor 3,000m as the event became another key point producer for the Razorbacks. A total of 19 points were collected from a 1-4-6-8 finish to secure the team title. Griffith also finished as the meet’s top scorer with 20 points.

Winning in 8:10.24, Griffith bettered Missouri’s Thomas George (8:11.04) and Texas A&M’s Jon Bishop (8:11.59). The Razorback finishers included Emmanuel Cheboson (8:12.08) in fourth, Gilbert Boit (8:12.87) in sixth and Matt Young (8:14.09) eighth. Ryan Murphy (8:16.26) placed 11th.

Earlier in the day Griffith supplied a silver medal effort in the mile, posting a time of 4:15.03 as he challenged for the victory on the final lap. Missouri’s Martin Prodanov won in 4:14.92 while Florida’s Jack Guyton placed third in 4:15.16.

The Razorback heptathlon crew were in position for 20 points following the hurdles and pole vault to start the second day of the heptathlon. Career-best heights in the pole vault, propelled the Arkansas crew into strong scoring positions.

They managed to maintain that 20-point production through the final event – the 1,000m – as three registered career-best scores.

Markus Ballengee led the Arkansas crew with a score of 5,706 points to secure silver while Tyler Brendel collected bronze with 5,626 points. Daniel Sprejcher (5,389) and Etamar Bhastekar (5,191) finished fifth and seventh. Ballengee moves to No. 4 on the Razorback all-time list with Brendel at No. 7.

Following his silver medal effort in the long jump the night before, Laquan Nairn finished fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 52-2 ¾ (15.92).

Jalen Brown ran 46.29 to place fourth in his section and finish fifth overall in the 400m. Kieran Taylor finished sixth in the 800m with a 1:52.80. Keyshawn Andrews added two points to the Razorback team score, placing seventh in the 60m with a 6.75. Carl Elliott III added a seventh place in the 60m hurdles, posting a time of 7.92.

The Hogs finished second in the final event of the night – the 4×400 relay – with a time of 3:05.56. James Milholen led off with a 47.10 leg and was followed by a blazing 45.89 from Jalen Brown followed by Jeremy Farr (46.60) and Hunter Woodhall (46.04).

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Arkansas shows depth in 400-meters in qualifying meet Friday

FAYETTEVILLE — Among a trio of victories in the Arkansas Qualifier on Friday, the Razorbacks produced a 1-2 finish in a pair of events and displayed their depth in the 400-meters.

Racing in Winston-Salem, the Arkansas distance medley improved its time and standing on the current collegiate list.

Roman Turner and Keshawn Andrews were the first pair of Razorbacks to accomplish a 1-2 finish on the night, with times of 6.75 and 6.77 in the 60-meter. Then Gilbert Boit and Graham Brown completed the feat in the 3,000-meter. Boit clocked 8:07.12 with Brown nearing his career best with an 8:22.88.

Jalen Brown established a career best of 46.27 to lead a 2-3-4-5-6 performance by the Razorbacks in the 400-meter.

Following were Hunter Woodhall (46.92), James Milholen (47.02), Nick Hilson (47.16) and Lesley Mahlakoane (47.34). Brown’s effort moves him to No. 10 on this season’s collegiate list.

“It was a good pre-meet to the SEC Championships,” said Arkansas men’s assistant coach Doug Case. “The 400-meter group ran really well, and I think we had four PRs from them tonight. Now we have a couple of sprinters who rank among the top 10 in the NCAA 400-meter list. All the short sprinters and hurdles ran right around their best times, it was a good tune-up for SECs.

“Gilbert Boit ran a nice time in the 3,000-meter, which will get him into the fast heat in the conference meet. We also had a group race in the distance medley relay and those guys ran a time that puts them fifth in the nation, which is a good performance when you convert the time over. We expect to have a really good SEC meet.”

In North Carolina, the Razorbacks clocked 9:39.16 as runner-up to BYU (9:38.02) and ahead of Virginia Tech (9:40.07) and Washington (9:43.45). The crew running for Arkansas included Luke George (2:59.08), Travean Caldwell (47.93), Kieran Taylor (1:51.66) and Cameron Griffith (4:00.48).

With the event being run on a flat 200m track, the time for Arkansas will convert to 9:31.40 and currently ranks the team fifth on the NCAA descending order list. More DMR races are scheduled for Saturday at Notre Dame.

In the 60m hurdles at the Arkansas Qualifier, the Razorbacks placed four in the final. Carl Elliott III won the race in 7.81 as Tre’Bien Gilbert finished third in 7.89. Then multi-event athletes Daniel Spejcher (8.22) and Tyler Brendel (8.28) finished fifth and seventh.

Tylin Jackson set a PR of 21.09 as runner-up in the 200m, finishing as the top collegian, behind a 20.84 for alum Kenzo Cotton. Reese Walters ran 1:53.86 to place second in the 800m.

Multi-eventers Etamar Bhastekar and Markus Ballengee both cleared 16-0¾ in the pole vault. After the hurdles final, Brendel long jumped 22-2 ¼ with Spejcher reaching a distance of 21-11½.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Nairn captures long jump at Tyson Invitational on last attempt

FAYETTEVILLE — Down to his last triple jump attempt, Laquan Nairn generated a leap of 52 feet, 10 ¼ inches (16.11) to move from third to first place at the Tyson Invitational on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas distance crew raced at the Husky Classic in Seattle over the weekend and produced career best times in various distances.

Leading the effort was Emmanuel Cheboson with a 13:41.90 in the 5,000m to place sixth. Cheboson moved to No. 6 on the Arkansas all-time list.

“I think it was a very productive weekend for our program,” said men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “I was very pleased with the results at Tyson along with the results at the Husky meet. It’s always tough to split your squad, but it was necessary for us to do.

“Not only was I pleased with the performances across the board, but also with how we competed. Laquan’s final jump to win the triple jump is an example of that along with Jeremy in the 400m on Friday. Other examples of strong competition for us were in the 4×400, Kristoffer in the 60m and our distance races in Washington.”

Nairn’s final round effort enabled him to surpass event leader Felix Obi of Nigeria, who led the field with a 52-7¼ (16.03) from the second round. Oklahoma’s Jelaani Davis finished third with a 52-0½ (15.86) leap which moved him from sixth to second place in the fifth stanza.

“It was a good competition overall,” said Nairn, who opened with a 51-11 ¼ (15.83) victory at the Arkansas Invitational in January. “Coach (Mario) Sategna and I came into the meet wanting to be mentally prepared for six jumps. I knew I had to stay consistent and be patient.

“It shows how positive our thoughts can be going into a situation where I was sitting in third place for most of the competition. It shows how hard we’re training and how everything is coming together. Coach and I wanted to get 16.10 or better and we had a 16.11 today.”

An exciting race in the 4×400 relay had the Razorbacks and North Carolina A&T battling through each leg and they were separated by a narrow margin at the finish.

North Carolina A&T secured the victory in 3:04.12 with Arkansas runner-up at 3:04.81 while Iowa (3:06.76) and Baylor (3:07.72) were third and fourth.

Running for the Razorbacks were Lesley Mahlakoane (47.29), Jeremy Farr (45.44), Jalen Brown (46.62) and Hunter Woodhall (45.46).

A second relay group for Arkansas placed fifth overall as they won their section in 3:09.48 with a foursome of Travean Caldwell (47.65), James Milholen (46.91), Tre’Bien Gilbert (47.65) and Nick Hilson (47.27).

Racing in the Invitational 200m, Tylin Jackson posted a time of 21.10 for third in his section and 10th overall.

The winner of the event, LSU’s Terrance Laird, clocked a world-leading time of 20.43 with Georgia’s Matthew Boling runner-up in 20.66.

Husky Classic

Luke George had a career best of 4:06.10 for ninth place in his section of the mile. In the 3,000m, Cameron Griffith neared his personal best with a 7:50.80 to place ninth.

Matt Young registered a career best of 13:49.12 to finish eighth in his 5,000m section, improving from a previous indoor best of 14:19.00, while Gilbert Boit ran 13:59.49. Other Razorbacks contesting the 5,000m included Preston Cates (14:36.57), Graham Brown (14:40.27), and Hayden Dressel (14:55.17).

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Farr sets indoor best in 400-meter in first day at Tyson Invitational on Friday

FAYETTEVILLE — Razorback freshman Jeremy Farr won an impressive 400-meter title on the first day of the Tyson Invitational, setting an indoor best of 46.05 seconds at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

In the 60-meter, Kristoffer Hari broke his Danish national record with a runner-up finish in 6.62 seconds.

Farr, who competed for Wolmer’s High School in Kingston, Jamaica, ran in the third section of the Invitational 400m and defeated LSU’s Tyler Terry (46.21) and Rutger’s Taj Burgess (46.39).

Freshman Randolph Ross of North Carolina A&T, who entered the meet with a world-leading 45.44 set in Lubbock, won the final section in 46.14 to place second overall.

“In my recent races I haven’t been going out fast enough,” said Farr, who has an outdoor best of 45.65. “So, today was about doing things coach asked me do. Today was the first time I did that, and I got the time I wanted.

“I’m very pleased. I didn’t expect to be the overall winner, but I’m happy I was. It means I’m in the league with those guys now. That’s where I know I can be, so I’m extremely happy.”

Farr’s effort is fifth best on the collegiate list this season and moves him to No. 8 on the Arkansas all-time indoor list.

Hari, who shared the national record for Denmark at 6.65 with Benjamin Hecht, finished second to a 6.59 by Jaylan Mitchell of North Carolina A&T in the 60m final while LSU’s Akanni Hislop ran 6.68 for third.

Hecht first set the record in 1999 while Hari matched that performance in 2017. During the Razorback Invitational two weeks ago, Hari repeated his 6.65.

The 6.62 effort moves Hari to No. 3 on the Arkansas all-time list behind Kenzo Cotton (6.56) and Jarrion Lawson (6.60).

“Moving in the right direction is always something I’m proud and happy about,” noted Hari, who ran 6.68 in the prelims before setting the record in the final. “Honestly, the times are always a cool thing, but I’m just happy that I’m getting better each meet.

“The big thing for me is the competition and the championships are what matters. I’m excited going into these big meets coming up with SECs and nationals. I’m definitely happy that I finally got to take this record, though.”

Tre’Bien Gilbert matched his career best in the 60m hurdles from two weeks ago. His 7.79 placed fourth with teammate Carl Elliott, III claiming fifth in 7.80. Iowa’s Jaylan McConico won the race in 7.60.

Razorback Jalen Brown placed eighth overall in the Invitational 400m with a 46.66 as he finished fourth in the fourth section. Teammates Lesley Mahlakoane (47.30) and Hunter Woodhall (47.86) were 11th and 12th overall.

The Tyson Invitational continues Saturday with prime events taking place in the 1 to 4 p.m. time frame. Field events start at 11:30 a.m. with running events beginning at 1 p.m.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Crouser gets win at Millrose Games on Saturday with world-leading effort

NEW YORK — Arkansas volunteer assistant coach Ryan Crouser opened his season with a shot put victory at the 113th Millrose Games on Saturday, producing a world-leading mark of 72-9¾ (22.19).

Joe Kovacs, the 2019 World champion, finished second with a toss of 70-0¼ (21.34) as Payton Otterdahl placed third with a 69-2¾ (21.10).

Featuring the shot put in the middle of the infield at the Armory Track and Field Center, Crouser and Kovacs each opened the competition with identical marks of 69-8¼ (21.24) to lead the field of six throwers.

Crouser, who set the Millrose Games meet record of 73-3¼ (22.33) last year, improved his mark in three consecutive rounds, from 70-10 (21.69) in round three to 71-2 (21.69) and then his winning effort in round five.

Kovacs bettered the 70-foot distance once, in the third stanza.

The 2016 Olympic champion, Crouser is in his first season as a volunteer assistant with the Razorbacks.

His Millrose meet record set in 2019 ranks fourth in the world all-time and third among Americans.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Razorbacks third in close team chase for title at Razorback Invitational

FAYETTEVILLE — A tight team battle and some stand-out Arkansas performances highlighted the second day of the Razorback Invitational at the Tyson Indoor Track.

A crowd of 1,766 saw a team competition which included the five nationally ranked programs separated by only nine points.

The No. 15 Razorbacks were third in team scoring as they produced another pair of individual runner-up finishes while the 4×400 relay placed third.

“It’s good that it’s tight again for us in team scoring situations,” said Arkansas men’s coach Chris Bucknam. “Last year was a rough year for us, just being out of the mix in all of the meets we were in. But I’m really pleased from fall track all the way to our first real test since we got back to school and started the indoor season.

“We competed for the win. We are happy with a lot of personal bests and great competitive efforts by our guys. There was some load management going on with a bunch of our guys since we have another month before the SEC Championships.

“Right now, it’s all about handling that competitive anxiety and hardening the shell mentally that way. We took a big step forward in that regard.”

Carl Elliott III earned runner-up honors in the 60m hurdles with a career best time of 7.76 seconds, edging out LSU’s Damion Thomas, who also ran 7.76, while the Tigers’ Eric Edwards won in 7.66.

Razorback Tre’Bien Gilbert also produced a personal best of 7.79 in placing fifth.

Elliott and Gilbert move to positions No. 4 and No. 5 on the Arkansas all-time list in the hurdles.

“I’m very happy for the hurdlers,” noted Bucknam. “They did a great job and had some personal-best times.”

Cameron Griffith raced to a second-place finish in mile, clocking 4:02.19 behind Oregon’s Cooper Teare (4:00.21) with Oklahoma State’s Juan Diego Castro (4:03.25) third.

The Razorback 4×400 relay team ran 3:09.16 for third place and the squad consisted of Travean Caldwell (48.15), Jeremy Farr (46.25), James Milholen (47.31) and Nick Hilson (47.46). Texas won the race in 3:07.85, securing the team title with 79 points, while Florida was second in 3:08.07 with Oregon fourth at 3:11.35.

Arkansas placed third in team scoring with 73 points behind No. 4 Texas and No. 17 Oregon (73) while No. 7 Florida (72) finished fourth and No. 2 LSU (70) was sixth.

Four Razorbacks placed 5-6-7-8 in the Invitational 400m with a crew that included Farr (47.21), Hunter Woodhall (47.44), Milholen (47.86) and Lesley Mahlakoane (47.93).

Over 3,000m the Arkansas tandem of Emmanuel Cheboson and Matt Young placed fifth and sixth while Gilbert Boit served as the pacer in the early stages of the race.

Cheboson ran 8:02.84 while Young finished in 8:03.05.

After his 1,200m carry on the distance medley relay, Kieran Taylor raced at 800m and posted a 1:50.99 for fifth.

Kristoffer Hari, of Denmark, equaled his national record in the prelims of the 60m with a 6.65, but did not race in the final. Roman Turner finished seventh in the final in 6.82.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Career-best long jump gets runner-up spot for Nairn at Razorback Invitational

FAYETTEVILLE — A career-best long jump of 26-0¾ (7.94) earned runner-up honors for Laquan Nairn during the first day of the Razorback Invitational while the Arkansas distance medley relay placed third with a time of 9:40.15.

Nairn only attempted a pair of jumps since he will return to contest the triple jump on Saturday as he finished in second place behind a 26-6 ½ (8.09) effort by LSU’s Rayvon Grey.

The opening round jump of 26-0 ¾ by Nairn improved his previous indoor best of 25-10 (7.87) set in 2018.

“I was really pleased with Laquan in the long jump,” said Arkansas men’s coach Chris Bucknam. “He put a big one out there early and is going to triple jump tomorrow, so he limited his attempts today. I’m just really, really happy for him in watching him start to put everything together.”

The Razorback distance medley relay included a foursome that was racing together for the first time.

A 9:40.15 effort was produced by Kieran Taylor (2:57.32), Jalen Brown (46.04), Hunter Woodhall (1:50.61) and Cameron Griffith (4:06.18).

They finished behind Oregon’s record run as well as a 9:36.16 by Texas, while defeating Florida (9:44.97) and Stanford (9:47.05).

“I think we have a really good team,” said Bucknam. “It’s just going to take some time to develop. We still have potential to qualify in this event and be among the 12 teams who will race in national championships.

“That was Cameron’s first race on the anchor, it was Hunter’s first race at 800m really, and he’s only done that in practice and produced a 1:50, which was outstanding. Jalen gave us a great leg with a 46 flat and KT at the front did a good job running his first 1,200m.”

A crowd of 1,488 at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center was treated to a collegiate record as Oregon clocked 9:24.52 to break the previous mark of 9:25.97 set by Texas in this same venue in 2008.

“Hats off to Oregon, what a great run they had,” noted Bucknam. “To be out in front and to run that fast by yourselves shows not only a lot of talent, but a lot of guts. I’m glad they ran that well, since we wanted fast times. Unfortunately, it made everyone else look slow.”

Through the first day of the heptathlon, Markus Ballengee led an Arkansas foursome in the event scoring 3,022 points and is currently in ninth place among a field of 21.

The other three Razorbacks in the heptathlon included Daniel Spejcher (2,890), Etamar Bhastekar (2,825) and Tyler Brendel (2,715).

Arkansas alum Andrew Erwin cleared 18-1 (5.51) in an Olympic development pole vault.

Action in the Razorback Invitational continues on Saturday, starting at 10:40 a.m. with the continuation of the heptathlon.

Featured events in the 1-4 p.m. time frame will be shown on SEC Network+.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field Hogs Women's Track-Field

Bucknam, Harter previewing star-studded field for Razorback Invitational this weekend

Razorbacks men’s track coach Chris Bucknam and women’s coach Lance Harter talked Monday afternoon about the talented athletes that will be at the Razorback Invitational this weekend.

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Hogs Men's Track-Field

Seventh-ranked Razorbacks post pair of wins at Red Raider Invitational

LUBBOCK, Texas — No. 7 Arkansas picked up a pair of first-place finishes at the Red Raider Invitational on Friday afternoon at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Carl Elliott III captured the 60-meter hurdles by .004 seconds to capture the first crown for the Hogs at the Invitational. Elliott III won the event with a time of 7.795 after finishing fourth in the prelims.

For the second consecutive meet, Laquan Nairn took home a first-place mark, this time in the long jump.

Entering the meet with the 11th-best leap in the triple jump in the NCAA, Nairn used a first-attempt mark of 7.69m/25-2.75 to pick up the win and move into ninth in the country in the long jump.

Arkansas put together a 2-3-4 finish in the 400-meters with Jalen Brown leading the pack with a time of 47.33. Lesley Mahlakoane (47.68) and Hunter Woodhall followed him for the top-four finishes.

In the 800-meter run, Kieran Taylor recorded a third-place finish, never holding a spot lower than third with two laps of second-place running, clocking in at 1:49.94.

The time moved him into eighth in the men’s indoor qualifying list.

Rashad Boyd posted a fourth-place mark in the 200-meters with a time of 21.27. Tylin Jackson and Rhayko Schwartz led the Hogs in the 200m ‘B’ event, putting together a 5-6 finish. Roman Turner turned in a seventh-place time in the 60-meter final at 6.80.

The Razorbacks will be back in action at home for the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center for the third meet of the season.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.