COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – The Arkansas men’s track and field team was crowned the 2014 Southeastern Conference Champions on Saturday.
It marks the third-consecutive indoor title for the men’s team and ninth-straight conference title including outdoor and cross country SEC Championships. The men finished with 121 points, well ahead of Florida in second place with 106 points.
“I’m really proud of my coaches and athletes,” Arkansas coach Chris Bucknam said. “This is the best track meet in the country and to fend off the No. 2 and 3 ranked teams in the country for the win makes it that much sweeter. We dedicated this win to Kevin Lazas and his family. We were thinking about him all weekend and we look forward to having him back with us for the national championships.”
The Arkansas women’s team finished third in the SEC Championships.
The No. 1 Razorbacks led the field of 12 teams through three days of events, clinching the 2014 title with two events left on Saturday. The men crowned three individual champions in Anthony May (high jump), Raymond Higgs (long jump) and Solomon Haile (5,000-meter) on the way to the 32nd indoor conference title in program history.
Haile took home the SEC Indoor 5,000-meter title, running 13:58.64 for the team’s first title in the event since 2010. A top-three finisher since his freshman year, Saturday marked Haile’s first SEC indoor event title in his career with the Razorbacks.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day since my freshman year,” Haile said. “I’ve finished second and third so many times, it’s a great feeling to win my senior year.”
Gabe Gonzalez completed a 1-2 finish for the Razorbacks in the 5,000-meter, with a career-best 13:58.64. He shattered his previous record of 14:03.80 set at the Husky Invitational earlier this season.
In his first-ever SEC Championship final event, Omar McLeod recorded a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.70. The time is a new personal record for the freshman, taking down his previous record of 7.76 set at the Arkansas – Texas Duals. McLeod remains in the No. 3 spot all-time at Arkansas.
The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of Jarrion Lawson, Omar McLeod, Travis Southard and Neil Braddy finished in a season-best 3:04.94 for a fourth-place overall finish.
The Razorbacks will spend the next two weeks gearing up for the NCAA Indoor Championships, chasing their second-straight national title. The 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships will take place in Albuquerque, N.M., hosted by New Mexico.