Men ‘Sleepwalk' Through Second Day

FAYETTEVILLE -- Despite the depth in the mile and 800 meters, the Arkansas Razorbacks men failed to securely qualify in any track event Saturday at the Razorback Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Senior James Hatch provisionally qualified in the mile in 4:01.76, nearly two seconds off the automatic qualifier. Though Hatch's time may be enough to land him in the NCAA Championship field in March, five other Razorback milers failed to get even close in what was a disappointing mile run.

"To be honest with you I was disappointed," Arkansas coach John McDonnell said. "The depth that we had in there didn't do it. We ran the 800 earlier in the afternoon and we didn't get the job done there either. Yesterday was a better day, really."

"You can't win the conference meet with only Wallace Spearmon. You have to have a few more people to go with him."

No Razorback finished higher than fifth in the men's 800 with Harun Iman leading the way for Arkansas in 1 minute, 51.65 seconds.

Said Ahmed had his second poor performance in a row with a seventh-place finish in the 800 after setting a blistering early pace which proved too fast for the track veteran.

Omar Brown barely earned a provisional qualifying time in the 400 finishing second behind LSU's Pete Coley. Brown beat the provisional mark by .04 in a time of 47.21.

"We were sleepwalking. That is what I saw," McDonnell said. "It was like we were dreaming or something, like it wasn't real. We'll get back to the drawing board. We will get better."

Not even Razorback triple jumper Jaanus Uudmae could improve his provisional qualifying distance from last week's Arkansas Invitational where he jumped 52-7.50.

Uudmae managed only a 52-2.50 Saturday.

"There were just a lot of guys that didn't step up. It is a home meet. Some of those guys need a little more pride when they go out there," McDonnell said.

The Lady'Backs provisionally qualified seven athletes over the weekend.

"It seems like all across the board we took a big step last week and a giant step this week. I don't think we are disillusioned to think we are going to win the SEC, but I think we are going to be noticed," Arkansas women's coach Lance Harter said.

Kasia Williams took the women's 60-meter hurdles in 8.29 for a provisional spot in the NCAAs. Her time was also the fourth-fastest 60 hurdles in school history.

About halfway through the race, Williams picked up her kick and fired to the front to edge LSU's Ranysha LeBlanc.

"I fell asleep in the race from the start and through the first three hurdles," Williams said jokingly. "Then I saw this girl pulling past me."

Pole vaulters Danielle O'Reilly and Jodi Driggers earned their provisional qualifying heights Saturday. Both O'Reilly and Driggers vaulted 12-11 1/2 to tie for first in the meet.

Aneita Denton provided the Lady'Backs with two provisional qualifiers when she won the 800 meters in 2:07.55 -- over two seconds ahead of runner-up Tanya Osbourne from LSU.

Denton also ran a leg of the winning women's 4X400 relay (3:42.35) with Springdale native Paige Farrell, Tominque Boatwright and Lakeisha Martin.

LSU had initially won the event in 3:36.04 earning them a provisional qualifier, but were disqualified.

Maureen Scott won the women's mile with Penny Splichal finishing third, but neither women qualified for the NCAAs.

Farrell, a freshman, set a personal best for the second night in a row by winning her heat and placing fourth in the 400 in 54.97.

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