4x1500 wins at Texas Relays

AUSTIN, Texas – The Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field team picked up its first 2009 Texas Relays title Friday night with a race win in the 4×1,500-meter relay.

The Hogs picked up their 11th-straight title win in the event. Senior Scott MacPherson (4:02), freshman Rick Elliott (3:58), senior Alex McClary (3:55) and sophomore Michael Chinchar (4:00) combined for a time of 15:57.97.

Disaster struck during the first leg of the relay when MacPherson dropped the baton and fell back to sixth place. Elliott took over and moved the Hogs back into the top four. McClary and Chinchar were able to close the gap. Chinchar took the lead with less than a lap to go and never relinquished despite the charge from Texas Tech’s anchor leg.

"We came into the race with a goal of winning it," Chinchar said. "Arkansas has won this race 10 years in a row, 11 now, and we didn’t want to break that streak. Even with the dropped baton, it was a great race. Everybody ran well on our team. We showed our worth at the beginning of the year, I think."

The Hogs have won 55 Texas Relays titles since the meet’s inception in 1925. Arkansas has won 18 4×1,500-meter relay titles since the start of the event in 1925 with its first win in the event coming in 1951.

In the "A" flight of the long jump, freshman Tarik Batchelor earned a runner-up finish with a mark of 25-6.75, a personal best and regional qualifier. His mark ranks second in the SEC, first among freshman, and second in the NCAA, first among freshman.

The quartet of senior J-Mee Samuels (200 meters, 20.70), freshman Marek Niit (200 meters, 20.70), freshman Travis Nollsch (400 meters, 47.49) and sophomore Chris Bilbrew (800 meters, 1:49.83) earned a runner-up finish with a time of 3:19.26 in the sprint medley relay.

Competition will resume Saturday with Arkansas scheduled to compete in the high jump, "A" flight of the javelin, the 4×200-meter relay and the distance medley relay. For more information and complete results, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or TexasSports.com.