ALBUQUERQUE – The No. 2 Razorbacks finished second at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Arkansas, which scored 55 points, finished eight behind Oregon.
Freshman Omar McLeod was crowned the NCAA 60-meter hurdle champion with a time of 7.58 seconds in his first-ever NCAA Championship appearance. McLeod’s time followed an NCAA-leading performance in Friday’s prelims with a school-best 7.57. It was the second champion for the Razorbacks, following Jarrion Lawson’s record-setting long jump title on Friday.
It was an impressive performance across the board over the weekend, as all but two competing Razorbacks scored in the national meet. All individuals placed in the top-10, while a hamstring injury altered Raymond Higg’s performance. The senior still continued through two more jumps, before finishing 12th overall.
“We had a very, very good meet, our kids came to play hard and that’s what we did,” Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam said. “We were only eight points from first, but our kids came away with two national champions, a school record and several All-Americans. I have no question about the effort that was put forth to win this meet. I’m very, very proud of them. We had to go through a meat grinder at the SEC Championships to get here and with all the injuries we’ve had, the fact that we got second was pretty amazing. It was a testament to the way our kids compete and what they put into being a Razorback.”
Senior Kevin Lazas wrapped up the day with a third-place finish in the men’s heptathlon, earning six points for the Razorbacks. A third-place finish in the pole vault with a mark of 17-2.75 gave Lazas the push he needed to break back into the top-three. He held strong in his place, finishing the day with 5,973 points. An all-around consistent performance leaves the senior happy about his final indoor meet.
“It was probably one of my better meets because I did so many good things that will carry into outdoors and help me progress as the season goes on,” said Lazas.
Coming off surgery in the fall, NCAA defending pole vault champion Andrew Irwin finished fourth, clearing 18-.5 to add to Arkansas’ scoring total.
Following a top-10 finish in the high jump on day one, Anthony May scored in the triple jump, finishing fifth with a mark of 52-7.25. Freshman Clive Pullen finished in the top-10 at his first-ever NCAA Championship meet, jumping 51-8.25 for a 9th place finish in the triple jump.
“Our guys competed hard,” Arkansas assistant Travis Geopfert said. “It’s a team effort and it was a great team effort. They went out there and got after it – every single one of them. We had some adversity and we overcame it in some situations and at the end of the day that’s all I can ask for. I ‘m really proud of them and ready to get after it at outdoors.”