Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - On the heels of an NCAA indoor team title, the University of Arkansas men's track and field team racked up 25 All-America accolades as announced Monday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
With their collection of awards spread among 19 athletes, the Razorbacks earned a nation-leading 17 first-team honors. Across all three aspects of the program, Arkansas now has 203 overall All-Americans in its history.
The Razorbacks' list of All-Americans is highlighted by NCAA champions Andrew Irwin in the pole vault, Kevin Lazas in the heptathlon and 4x400-meter relay foursome Neil Braddy, Caleb Cross, Akheem Gauntlett and Marek Niit. Arkansas successfully defended its national titles in the pole vault and 4x400-meter relay, and added its first-ever NCAA event title in the heptathlon with Lazas' performance.
All three event titles were won in record-setting fashion. The 4x400-meter relay team broke the collegiate record with its time of 3:03.50, replacing the previous record of 3:03.51 set in 2005 by a Florida team that featured world-record holder Kerron Clement. Irwin (5.70m/18-8.25) and Lazas (6,175 points) both improved upon their own school records over the weekend.
In addition to its NCAA champions, Arkansas' list of first teamers also features Tarik Batchelor (triple jump), Kemoy Campbell (3,000 meters), Raymond Higgs (long jump), Stanley Kebenei (5,000 meters), Anton Kokorin (400 meters), Jarrion Lawson (long jump), Anthony May II (high jump), Patrick Rono (800 meters) and Tomas Squella (800 meters). Gauntlett and Niit also earned first-team accolades for their performances at 200 meters.
Second-team certificates also went to Campbell (distance-medley relay), Cross (60m hurdles), May (triple jump), Cameron Efurd (distance-medley relay), Anthony Lieghio (800m, distance-medley relay), Leoman Momoh (800 meters) and Travis Southard (distance-medley relay).
With Monday's release, Niit leads all current Razorbacks with 11 career All-America honors, six of which have come for his indoor achievements. Braddy has also collected double-digit All-America accolades and now has 10 during his career. The list of Arkansas' first-time All-Americans includes Efurd, Kebenei, Kokorin, Lawson, May and Squella. Campbell was an All-American during the cross country season.
Arkansas won its 20th NCAA indoor team title last weekend at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The win also represented the program's 41st overall NCAA team crown, first since 2006 and first under head coach Chris Bucknam. The Razorbacks scored 74 points on their way to the title, gathering points in 11 of the 13 events in which they were entered.
First-team honors were given to those who placed in the championships' top eight in an event or were a member of an eight-person final. Second-team honors were earned by those who finished ninth between ninth and 16th place.
The Razorbacks will take a weekend away from competition before opening their outdoor season March 23 with the Texas State Quad in San Marcos, Texas.
2013 USTFCCCA All-Americans
Tarik Batchelor - triple jump
Neil Braddy - 4x400m relay
Kemoy Campbell - 3,000 meters
Caleb Cross - 4x400m relay
Akheem Gauntlett - 200 meters, 4x400m relay
Raymond Higgs - long jump
Andrew Irwin - pole vault
Stanley Kebenei - 5,000 meters
Anton Kokorin - 400 meters
Jarrion Lawson - long jump
Kevin Lazas - heptathlon
Anthony May II - high jump
Marek Niit - 200 meters, 4x400m relay
Patrick Rono - 800 meters
Tomas Squella - 800 meters
Kemoy Campbell - DMR
Caleb Cross - 60m hurdles
Cameron Efurd - DMR
Anthony Lieghio - 800 meters, DMR
Anthony May II - triple jump
Leoman Momoh - 800 meters
Travis Southard - DMR