Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Robert Black Photography)
COLUMBIA, Mo. (Univ. of Ark.) - After day one of the decathlon at the SEC Outdoor Championships, the University of Arkansas men's track and field team has three athletes in scoring position in the two-day, 10-event competition. Junior Kevin Lazas is the Razorbacks' top performer and currently sits in third place with 4,030 points. The top-eight in the decathlon also includes Nathanael Franks in fourth place and Matt Kirbos in seventh.
"Kevin did a good job today," assistant coach Travis Geopfert said. "We wanted to be smart with him, save jumps and pass some bars. That's exactly what we did and he executed the plan perfectly. Nathanael had a phenomenal day with significant PRs in the long jump and high jump and was solid in everything else. He put himself in the mix so it was fun to see him breakthrough.
"Anytime you put three guys in scoring position at SECs, that's a good thing. Obviously, we're disappointed that Julius had three fouls in the long jump. That stings a little bit but we have depth with four guys in the field. The other guys just have to step up and they're doing that."
After a pair of runner-up finishes at 100 meters and in the long jump to open the day, Lazas established a personal-best mark in the shot put with a day's best of 14.52m/47-7.75. The throw was half an inch beyond his previous outdoor best which had set at last year's SEC meet. At the end of day one, Lazas is 126 points behind event leader, Garrett Scantling of Georgia.
Franks posted personal bests in three of the five events contested Friday. He finished day one with 3,979 points and is 177 points behind the first-place competitors. The redshirt sophomore collected personal bests of 7.07m/23-2.5 in the long jump, 1.97m/6-5.5 in the high jump and 49.20 at 400 meters. Franks finished in the top five of four events Friday.
In seventh place after five events, Kirbos had 3,634 points. He had the second-best marks of his career in the long jump at 7.00m/22-11.75 and shot put at 12.68m/41-7.25. The Razorback senior has a career-best overall finish of seventh place at the SEC Championships back in 2011. Despite his mishap in the long jump, Julius Sommer responded with a pair of personal bests in the final two events of the day. He closed out the day with a time of 51.80 at 400 meters.
In addition to the conclusion of the decathlon, Friday's schedule is set to feature preliminary action at 200 meters, 800 meters and in the 400-meter hurdles. The first running final of the weekend will also be contested with the 10,000 meters in which the Razorbacks have two entries.
The 2013 SEC Championships will be streamed live by ESPN3 on Saturday, May 11 from 3:40-6:45 p.m., and Sunday, May 12 from 2:50-6:45 p.m. Competition outside of the ESPN3 coverage windows will be made available on MUTigers.com. The 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships will air as part of a 90-minute show on ESPNU on Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m.
Decathlon (Day 1)
3. Kevin Lazas - 4,030 points
2. 100 Meters - 10.93 [876 points]
2. Long Jump - 7.39m/24-3 
2. Shot Put - 14.52m/47-7.75 (PR - prev: 47-7.25) 
4. High Jump - 1.97m/6-5.5 
8. 400 Meters - 52.33 
4. Nathanael Franks - 3,979 points
6. 100 Meters - 11.13 [832 points]
3. Long Jump - 7.07m/23-2.5 (PR - prev: 21-10) 
4. Shot Put - 13.36m/43-10 
5. High Jump - 1.97m/6-5.5 (PR - prev: 6-3.75) 
2. 400 Meters - 49.20 (PR - prev: 49.23) 
7. Matt Kirbos - 3,634 points
7. 100 Meters - 11.24 [808 points]
5. Long Jump - 7.00m/22-11.75 
6. Shot Put - 12.68m/41-7.25 
9. High Jump - 1.85m/6-0.75 
9. 400 Meters - 52.70 
10. Julius Sommer - 2,865 points
9. 100 Meters - 11.32 [791 points]
--. Long Jump - NM
7. Shot Put - 12.62m/41-5 
8. High Jump - 1.88m/6-2 (PR - prev: 6-0.75) 
6. 400 Meters - 51.80 (PR - prev: 52.63)