Duke opens Texas Relays competition

AUSTIN, Texas – Senior Jimmy Duke of the University of Arkansas track & field team began competition at the 79th Clyde Littlefied Texas Relays on Wednesday afternoon with the first day of the grueling 10-event decathlon, but was unable to finish to an injury, pulling out after the fourth event.

Scoring 2,030 points over the first three events, Duke placed himself in 19th position overall, giving himself an outside chance to post a NCAA provisional qualifier had he been able to finish the competition.

Beginning the day in the 100-meter dash, Duke ran 11.43 seconds, finishing seventh in his heat and 20th overall in the standings. Duke’s race was hindered by his problematic ankle.

Moving over to the long jump, Duke appeared to be able to deal with the pain as he hit a nice jump of 21 feet, 9 ½ inches to take 13th out of the 21-person field. The strong performance moved Arkansas’ lone multi-eventer to 16th overall and put him in a strong position to make up even more ground

Taking a turn in the shot put circle, Duke’s 18th-place finish dropped him back to 19th overall. A throw of 35-5 ¾, was well behind the competition leaders and kept Duke from pushing his advantage as he had in the long jump.

The fourth of the five first-day events was the high jump and Duke began the competition at 5-5 ¼, but unfortunately was unable to clear the bar. The three misses gave Duke no points in the competition and ended his hopes of qualifying for the NCAA meet so he elected to pull out of the competition.

Arkansas continues its competition at the Texas Relays on Friday with the 4×800-meter relay and 5,000-meter runs.