Boit Bolts To 10,000 Title

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Josphat Boit is in position to achieve what no other Arkansas Razorback has ever done.Despite the school's rich distance running history, Arkansas has never had an athlete win the 5,000-10,000-meter double.

On Thursday, in front of 5,417 in attendance at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Boit took down the field in the 10,000 in a rout, winning with a time of 28 minutes, 37.64 seconds.

Boit, who placed sixth in the event a year ago, became the sixth Razorback to win the 10,000 race.

He beat Providence's Martin Fagan by just under four seconds and Simon Bairu, the NCAA cross country champion from Wisconsin, by almost six seconds.

"I told him anytime after 5k, if the guys around him weren't running that strong, to put the hammer down," McDonnell said. "He did a great job. He just broke it open."

Boit put the hammer down with 3,000 meters to go, under McDonnell's advice to surge forward when needed. Once he made the move, Boit found no one to answer him.

The last leg of his quest for the distance double ends tonight with the finals of the 5,000 to be held at 9:30 p.m. (CST).

"He'll be there," McDonnell said. "I don't know if he will win it, but he will be there."

Boit enters the 5,000 ranked second behind Wisconsin's Chris Solinsky.

Also for Arkansas, Marc Rodrigues set a career-best time of 28:49.23 to finish fifth.

After the second day of competition, Arkansas stands tied for the lead with Wisconsin in the team standings with 14 points.

"We have a long way to go," McDonnell said. "We'll score some points, but I don't think we are going to win."

In what amounted to the Razorbacks' biggest scare of the competition, senior Eric Brown, the nation's top ranked javelin thrower, barely advanced past the qualifying stages of the event Thursday.

Brown finished 10th in qualifying, needing to fall into the top 12, with a throw of 223 feet, 9 inches.

Brown was complaining about slipping during warm-ups and his first two throws which were no better than 220 feet.

He threw over 245 feet during warm-ups, but could not repeat the effort.

"I usually do well when I warm up well," Brown said. "Then I started slipping and my mind just lost it. I was timid and just a little afraid to hit it as hard as I usually do."

Brown qualified on his last throw after changing to cleats with longer spikes for extra grip on the Mondo surface.

Top rival Justin Ryncavage of North Carolina topped the qualifying competition with a 243-3.

Brown's best throw of the season is a 256-3, which he set in Kansas on April 21.

The javelin finals will be held Saturday.

"We've got to get him right, get him dialed in, get him pissed," Arkansas field events coach Dick Booth said. "You just can't let somebody else be your national champion."

In the 1,500 semifinals, Adam Perkins returned to form posting a seasonal best 3:41.55 in only his third meet back from an Achilles injury.

He placed fourth in his qualifying heat.

"I was in perfect position the whole time. I never really got in trouble and it worked out well. I relaxed the last 100 meters in fourth. There was no need to kick it in because I knew I had a good margin.

Perkins placed fourth in the 1,500 at last year's nationals.

"One thing that is on his side is he is not over raced," McDonnell said.

"I was looking to see how light he was on his feet, and he was light. He was ready to take off. I think he is ready to relax now and give it a shot."

The 1,500 final will be held Saturday afternoon.

Three Razorbacks will take the track today beginning with freshman Nkosinza Balumbu in the triple jump qualifiers at 5 p.m. (CST) Balumbu is a "game-time decision" because of a hamstring injury.

Then, Boit and Summerside will run in the 5,000 finals at 9:30 p.m. (CST).

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