Men's track adds NLIs for 2011

FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 7 Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field team has signed four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 season, head coach Chris Bucknam announced Monday.

"Our staff has been working very hard on recruiting," Bucknam said. "These four student-athletes are a great start. This is just the beginning of our signing class and, overall, these four guys will definitely contribute to this team immediately."

Auston Chen is a native of Tampa, Florida, attends Berkeley Prep and competes in the multi events. He holds personal bests of 6,473 in the decathlon and 171-0 in the discus. He competed in the AAU Junior Olympics, the USATF Junior Olympics and the USATF World Youth Trials. Chen finished third at the 2009 Florida State Championships in the discus (171-0). He also lettered in football and soccer at Berkeley Prep and holds the school records in the discus (171-0) and the shot put (48-5.5).

"Chen is a state champion out of Florida and will add great depth to our multi events program," Bucknam said. "He has great experience in the decathlon and we are excited to have him as a Razorback."

Sam Ewing is a native of Glenwood, Ark., attends Lake Hamilton High School and competes in the pole vault. He holds a personal best of 17-2. His height of 17-0 during the 2009 indoor season was No. 2 in the nation. He won the 2009 Arkansas indoor and outdoor state titles with clearances of 16-4 and 16-7.5, respectively. He also won the vault at the 2009 Arkansas Meet of Champions. He set a meet record with his clearance of 16-7.25.

"Ewing is the No. 1 returning vaulter in the country," Bucknam said. "He is a local talent that we are very excited about. He has the ability to walk in and make an immediate impact on the SEC and NCAA level."

Dwayne Golbek is a native of Claremore, Okla., attends Claremore High School and competes in the high jump. He is the Claremore High School and Oklahoma State record holder in the high jump with his jump of 7-0. Golbek holds a personal best of 7-0.5. He competed at the World Youth Trials (runner-up finish) and the World Youth Championships (10th). Golbek is a three-time all-state honoree, a two-time conference champion and a regional champion.

"Golbek is one of the best and most consistent high jumpers in the country," Bucknam said. "He already has international experience and has been over seven feet numerous times. He is a great student athlete and will give us tremendous depth in the high jump."

Kevin Lazas is a native of Brentwood, Tenn., attends Brentwood High School and competes in the multi events. He was a member of Brentwood’s two-time state champion team and the 2009 state runner-up team. Lazas holds personal bests of 7,213 in the decathlon, 3,758 in the pentathlon, 23-2.5 in the long jump, 15-0 in the pole vault and 183-8 in the javelin. His decathlon best of 7,213 from 2009 was no. 1 in the nation.

Lazas is a two-time AAU Junior Olympic and National Champion in the decathlon, the 2009 Tennessee State Champion in the decathlon and the 2009 Tennessee state runner-up in the pole vault. He was a 2008 and 2009 Nike Indoor All-American.

"Lazas is the best all-around athlete in the country," Bucknam said. "He has terrific experience in the decathlon and is mentored by one of the best high school coaches around in Gary Kinder. He’s an outstanding decathlete that will also add depth in open events like the javelin and the pole vault. We are thrilled to have him join our program."

The Razorbacks will compete next when they host the Tyson Invitational, Fri-Sat., Feb. 12-13.