No. 1 Arkansas shares lead with 13 entries to NCAA Indoor Championships

FAYETTEVILLE – No. 1 Arkansas will have 13 entries into the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships, sharing the lead with No. 2 Washington while No. 3 Florida follows with 11 entries. The national championship meet will be held March 10-11 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This marks the second time since 2016 the Razorbacks have qualified 13 entries for the NCAA Indoor meet, which is the fourth best tally since Arkansas had 19 entries in 2013, the year the Razorbacks claimed a national team championship.

The 13 entries for Arkansas are spread over nine events, which is the most for the 2023 version of the national championship meet. Following with eight events is Texas (9 entries) while four schools – Florida (11 entries), Tennessee (8), Texas Tech (9), and Washington (13) – are involved in seven events.

Nearly half of Washington’s entries are in the mile as six Huskies qualified in that event.

Arkansas is one of just two schools who qualified in both the 4 x 400 and distance medley relay, with the other being Tennessee. This is the fifth consecutive year for the Razorbacks to achieve the feat and the first year for Tennessee.

This is the 13 consecutive season for Arkansas to qualify a 4 x 400 relay, which is second best to 18 for Texas A&M. Following with three consecutive years are Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.

In the distance medley relay, this is the fifth consecutive year for a Razorback crew to qualify, only trailing the seven straight years for Indiana.

With the heptathlon, Arkansas has had a qualifier for seven consecutive years, while Georgia leads with 12 years. In the long jump, the Razorbacks and Florida State each have qualified an individual four consecutive years.

Jaydon Hibbert is the lone freshman to qualify for the triple jump and he is the current collegiate leader as the lone jumper to surpass 56 feet this indoor season with his SEC winning mark of 56-1.75 (17.10).

The 2021 NCAA Indoor victor in the triple jump was Oregon frosh Emmanuel Ihemeje, who won with a mark of 56-7.5 (17.26) and then defended his title in 2022 with a 55-2.75 (16.83).

Prior to Ihemeje, the last freshman to claim an NCAA Indoor title in the triple jump was Florida’s Christian Taylor in 2009 with a leap of 55-8.5 (16.98) when he defeated another freshman in the field, Oklahoma’s Will Claye.

Leading the 4 x 400 relay with a world best of 3:01.09, Arkansas’ effort was challenged by Alabama in the SEC meet where the Crimson Tide won in 3:01.78.

Arkansas athletes seeded second in their respective events in the NCAA Indoor field include Chris Bailey (400m), Wayne Pinnock (long jump), and Ayden Owens-Delerme (heptathlon). Pinnock and Owens-Delerme are both defending champions.

Bailley’s 45.09 mark, which served as the world leader for nearly a full month, ranks second to the 44.75 produced by Georgia’s Elija Godwin to win the SEC title.

The marks generated in the SEC long jump from Mississippi State’s Cameron Crump (27-6.5 | 8.39) and Razorback Wayne Pinnock (27-3.25 | 8.31) are the top two seeds in the NCAA Indoor field.

Owens-Delerme broke the SEC meet record with his winning score of 6,237 points. Georgia’s Kyle Garland tops the heptathlon with a 6,415 tally.

NCAA Indoor | Arkansas entries

200: Lance Lang
400: Chris Bailey
5000: Patrick Kiprop
4 x 400: Arkansas
DMR: Arkansas
Long Jump: Wayne Pinnock, Carey McLeod
Triple Jump: Jaydon Hibbert, Carey McLeod
Shot Put: Jordan West, Rojé Stona
Heptathlon: Ayden Owens-Delerme, Yariel Soto Torrado