Trio of South Central region honors for Razorbacks

NEW ORLEANS – In an indoor season which included team titles at the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships, the Arkansas Razorbacks received three South Central Region honors as announced by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Arkansas head coach Chris Bucknam earned his 10th South Central Coach of the Year accolade for the indoor season while associate head coach Travis Geopfert collected an eighth regional Assistant Coach of the Year honor overall and his fourth during the indoor season.

Razorback freshman Jaydon Hibbert was named South Central Field Athlete of the Year following his SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year honor this indoor season.

Bucknam’s Razorbacks entered the NCAA Indoor meet ranked No. 1 and delivered a convincing victory, scoring 63 points and winning the meet by 23 points over Georgia (40). The point total for Arkansas was the fourth-best winning tally since the Razorbacks won with 74 points in 2013 under Bucknam.

It was the 21st NCAA Indoor championship for the Arkansas men and 42nd overall national championship.

Three victories highlighted Arkansas’ victory at the NCAA Indoor, occurring in the long jump, triple jump, and 4 x 400 relay while a silver medal performance was supplied by Ayden Owens-Delerme in the heptathlon where he broke the previous collegiate record.

Geopfert’s event group supplied 41.5 team points in the NCAA Indoor with 15 in the long jump, 13 in the triple jump, 11 in the heptathlon, and 2.5 points from Owens-Delerme’s leg on the winning 4 x 400 relay.

With different individuals claiming titles in the long jump and triple jump from the same school, it marked only the fourth time that has occurred in NCAA Indoor history. It’s also the second time it’s been accomplished by Arkansas.

The 2023 victors – Carey McLeod and Jaydon Hibbert – repeated the feat last achieved in 2016 by Jarrion Lawson and Clive Pullen. In total, the same school has completed the long jump and triple jump double at NCAA Indoors on 14 occasions and Arkansas has accomplished the feat nine times. Erick Walder supplied three of those double sweeps for the Razorbacks.

NCAA Indoor | Long Jump & Triple Jump sweep

Arkansas has achieved 9 of the 14 times it has been accomplished indoors and the Razorbacks have accomplished 2 of the 4 times different jumpers from same school have swept titles.

2023 Arkansas Carey McLeod Jaydon Hibbert
2016 Arkansas Jarrion Lawson Clive Pullen
2015 Florida Marquise Dendy Marquise Dendy
2007 Louisville Tone Belt Andre Black
2005 Indiana Aarik Wilson Aarik Wilson
2004 LSU John Moffitt LeJuan Simon
2000 Arkansas Melvin Lister Melvin Lister
1997 Arkansas Robert Howard Robert Howard
1994 Arkansas Erick Walder Erick Walder
1993 Arkansas Erick Walder Erick Walder
1992 Arkansas Erick Walder Erick Walder
1985 Arkansas Mike Conley Mike Conley
1984 Arkansas Mike Conley Mike Conley
1968 UTEP Bob Beamon Bob Beamon

McLeod, who won the long jump title by a centimeter on his last jump of 27-6.75 (8.40), became the seventh Razorback to win the event, which totals 11 long jump victories for Arkansas.

Hibbert, who set multiple records on his only attempt of 57-6.5 (17.54), became the ninth Razorback to win the event, which totals 18 triple jump victories for Arkansas.

McLeod equaled the Jamaican national record set by James Beckford in 1996 while Hibbert bettered the Jamaican national record of 56-4.75 (17.19) set by Arkansas alum Clive Pullen in 2017.

Hibbert broke the collegiate record of 57-1 (17.40) set by Arkansas legend Mike Conley in 1985 and equaled the Arkansas outdoor record established by Conley in 1985, in which the pair of Razorbacks are equal No. 2 on the absolute collegiate all-time list.

As an 18-year-old prodigy, Hibbert broke the World U20 indoor and outdoor records, surpassing the indoor mark of 56-5.25 (17.20) by Melvin Raffin of France in 2017, as well as the outdoor mark of 57-5 (17.50) set in 1985 by Germany’s Volker Mai.