Higgs' long jump helps Arkansas secure second-place tie after Day 2; Texas leads
EUGENE, Ore. -- At the end of Day 2 of the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., Arkansas is tied for second place with 14 points. Thursday’s action included a second-place finish for Raymond Higgs in the long jump, an eighth-place result for Kevin Lazas in the decathlon and a qualifying run in the 4x400 relay.
With his performance Thursday, Higgs improved upon his bronze finish at last year’s national meet in Des Moines, Iowa. Higgs, a Razorback junior, entered the final round of jumps in third place, but moved into second with his day’s best of 8.03m (26-4.25) in the fifth round. Higgs had legal attempts on five of his six passes down the runway, getting out to at least 25-10 in those jumps.
Lazas completed the two-day decathlon with 7,933 points, earning an eighth-place finish and one point toward the team’s overall total. In the highlight of the day, Lazas won the pole vault competition with a final clearance of 5.30m (17-4.5). He also ran to a personal-best time of 15.08 in the 110 hurdles to open the day. His final score was a season best by more than 350 points and just 22 points shy of the school-record score he posted at last year’s NCAAs.
In the Razorbacks’ only semifinal action of the day, the 4x400 relay team of Neil Braddy, Anton Kokorin, Caleb Cross and Akheem Gauntlett secured a spot in the event final. Arkansas won the first heat of the semifinal round with a season-best time of 3:04.00. The Razorbacks are the third overall qualifier heading into Saturday’s final.
Thursday’s competition also featured a trio of NCAA outdoor first-time competitors in Nathanael Franks in the decathlon, Solomon Haile at 10,000 meters and Jarrion Lawson in the long jump. Franks finished the two-day, 10-event competition in 16th place with 7,469 points and four personal bests. Haile finished 17th in the long-distance race with a time of 30:21.21, while Lawson was 14th overall in the long jump with a mark of 7.60m (24-11.25).
Arkansas will have five scoring opportunities Friday. Cross and Gauntlett will return to the track for final in the 400 hurdles and at 400 meters, respectively. The Razorbacks will also be seeking points at 800 meters with Leoman Momoh in the 3,000 steeplechase with Stanley Kebenei and in the high jump with Anthony May II and Dwayne Golbek.