Throwers excel at McDonnell Field

FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field team officially opened the 2010 outdoor season at the Razorback Spring Invitational at John McDonnell Field on Saturday.

"We had a good weekend," head coach Chris Bucknam. "There were some superb distance races at Stanford Friday night and the rest of the crew took care of things here at home. It’s great to see Luke Laird out there throwing the javelin. He’s very important to this team. Justin Holmes had a good day, too. Omar Abdi won a solid 800 race and that’s encouraging."

Sophomore Justin Holmes earned a runner-up finish in the discus. His best throw of the day measured 164-4, the No. 9 mark in school history. He ranks No. 5 in the SEC. In prep for the decathlon outdoors, sophomore Terry Prentice was fifth with a throw of 117-8 and freshman Matt Kirbos was sixth (91-3). Holmes also finished fifth in the shot put with a toss of 47-11.75 and ranks No. 6 in the SEC.

Junior Luke Laird finished second in his first javelin competition of the season. His best toss of the day measured 209-11. He ranks No. 4 in the SEC. Freshman Brandon Heeger finished third in the hammer throw with a school-record toss of 149-4. He replaced the previous record of 148-3,set by Tony Ugoh in 2005.

Freshman Omar Abdi, in his outdoor debut for the Razorbacks, led a 1-4-6-10 finish for Arkansas in the 800 meters. He clocked a winning time of 1:52.14. Freshman Leoman Momoh was fourth in 1:54.34, freshman Dylan Roberts was sixth in 1:55.57 and freshman Rob Redwine was 10th in 1:56.65.

Junior LaShawn Butler, in his outdoor debut for the Razorbacks, was the top collegian and third overall in the 100 meters. He clocked a too-windy time of 10.42 (5.4w).

Freshman Caleb Cross finished third in the 110-meter hurdles. He clocked a 2.2 wind-aided time of 14.37. His time is No. 5 in the SEC and No. 1 among freshmen. Sophomore Andrew Pennington was fifth in a personal-best time of 14.73. Prentice was ninth in 16.12 and Kirbos clocked a 16.59.

Pennington also finished sixth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.25 (No. 4 in the SEC). Cross was ninth in 56.15 and freshman Hunter Bourke, 400-meter hurdles was 10th in 56.94.

Senior Rio Reina finished second in the 3,000 meters. He clocked a time of 8:36.77. Freshman Michael Golden, making his Razorback debut, finished fourth with a time of 8:37.85.

In the 400 meters, freshman Chris Muncie was seventh with a time of 48.39, junior Chris Bilbrew was eighth in 48.66, freshman Alex Kelly was 11th in 50.15 and freshman Cory Kocurek was 16th (50.96). In the 1,500 meters, freshman Scott Gillespie finished fourth with a clocking of 3:58.76.

Senior Chad Burnett finished fourth in the pole vault with a clearance of 15-7. Sophomore Stuart Sparks with 10th with a height of 14-7.25.

Arkansas ran two 4×400-meter relays to end the day of events. Muncie, Bilbrew, Bourke and Butler finished third and clocked a time of 3:14.54. Kelly, Momoh, Abdi and Kocurek were seventh with their time of 3:22.06.

The Razorbacks will compete next at Texas Relays, Wed., March 31- Sat., April 3.

Download: RBack Spring Inv results.pdf