Saturday, March 9, 2013
Arkansas claims 20th title
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Kevin Lazas won the heptathlon and Kemoy Campbell finished second in the 3,000-meter run as Arkansas won its record 20th title at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
The title is the first for the Razorbacks since 2006, their 41st track championship overall, and their the first under coach Chris Bucknam.
Campbell clinched the title with his strong finish on the final lap of the 3,000. His eight team points gave Arkansas 64 overall, enough to clinch the championship with one event remaining.
The Razorbacks finished with 74 points, 15 ahead of three-time defending champion Florida.
"It feels good, no question about it," Bucknam said. "I'm really proud of these guys. It was a great, great effort by our kids, and it feels great to get it, feels good to get that first national championship.
"I hope our alums, coach (McDonnell) and our alums, are happy with what we've done."
Oregon won the women's championship with 56 points, the school's fourth in a row. It clinched the title in the final event, the 4x400 relay, and finished 12 points ahead of second-place Kansas.
The Ducks' relay team went off in the first of three heats in the final event. The team of English Gardner, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler and Phyllis Francis put up a time of 3:30.22 -- good enough to hold off LSU in the event and secure the overall championship.
"I'm absolutely elated," Oregon coach Robert Johnson said. "This one is probably sweeter than the others, even though they're all sweet. This one right here, we really had to dig down deep and perform."
Arkansas' men held a 16-point lead over Florida after the first day of competition on Friday, and they received an early boost Saturday with Lazas' 10 points. The senior scored 6,175 points to hold off Wisconsin's Japheth Cato, who finished with 6,165.
It wasn't until near the end of the meet, however, that the Razorbacks were finally able to relax following Campbell's run.
The junior dropped the baton during the final leg of Friday night's distance-medley relay, an event in which the Razorbacks had hoped to score valuable points in their attempt to dethrone Florida.
He more than made up for that miscue on Saturday with his final-lap kick -- finishing behind Arizona's Lawi Lalang and putting his team out of reach overall.
He entered the event as the 15th-ranked runner in the 3,000.
"I went home last night, and I really went back to the drawing board," Campbell said. "I saw what I did wrong or whatever, but I came back tonight with a vengeance, just saying I had to get some points for my team.
"It turned out really well."
Arkansas hadn't won a championship since 2006 under coach John McDonnell, who retired in 2008 and was replaced with Bucknam, the former Northern Iowa coach.
Bucknam had led the Razorbacks to four of the past five Southeastern Conference indoor titles, but he downplayed the significance of winning a national meet leading into this year's meet.
He wasn't downplaying it anymore following Saturday's win, especially after Arkansas' 4x400 team won the final event of the evening -- after which the Razorbacks drenched their coach with a well-deserved ice-water bath.
"It was a tough nut to crack, there's no question about it," Bucknam said.
In the individual events, Mississippi State's Erica Bougard won the pentathlon with 4,399 points.
Last year's Olympic bronze medalist in the high jump, Derek Drouin of Indiana won the event at 7 feet, 8½ inches. The indoor championship is his third in the past four years.
Virginia Tech's Alexander Ziegler won the weight throw with a mark of 73 feet, 8 1/4 inches.
Oklahoma senior Tia Brooks won her second straight shot put title, her third overall, with a collegiate record throw of 63 feet, 3/4 inches.
Emma Coburn of Colorado won the women's mile in 4:29.91, while Arizona's Lang set a meet record in the men's event with a time of 3:54.74.
Clemson junior Brianna Rollins ran the second-fastest time in collegiate history in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.79 seconds. She now owns the three fastest times in the event, all set this year.
Eddie Lovett won the 60-meter hurdles for Florida in 7.50 seconds.
Georgia freshman Shaunae Miller held off Arkansas senior Regina George to win the women's 400 in 50.88 seconds.
Houston's Errol Nolan won the men's 400 in 45.75.
Aurieyall Scott topped the women's field in the 60-meter dash in 7.13 seconds, and Mississippi State's D'Angelo Cherry won the men's event in 6.54.
Texas Tech's Bryce Lamp won the men's triple jump at 55 feet, 7 3/4 inches, while Kansas' Andrea Geubelle won the women's event with a jump of 46 feet, 6 1/4 inches.
Natalia Bartnovskaya also earned 10 points for the Kansas women with a mark of 14 feet, 7 1/4 inches in her pole vault win.
LSU's Natoya Goule won the women's 800-meter run in 2:02, while Oregon's Elijah Greer won the men's 800 in 1:47.13.