FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) – The No. 4 University of Arkansas men's track and field team collected three national qualifiers on day one of the 2014 NCAA West Preliminary. The Razorbacks will be represented in Eugene by Andrew Irwin in pole vault, along with Raymond Higgs and Anthony May in long jump.
Irwin was the first to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, clearing 17-7 to punch his ticket to his second-straight NCAA Outdoor Championships. Irwin easily cleared the qualifying mark, finishing third overall.
Raymond Higgs and Anthony May were the next two Razorbacks to qualify for NCAA Championships, with top-12 performances in long jump. A first attempt jump by Higgs would land at 25-6 to take an early lead he would not relinquish. A final attempt leap of 24-8.5 in the final round would secure May's spot in the top-12 and the senior's second-straight trip to the outdoor championships.
"I've had a rough season, so to qualify right away today was huge," said Higgs. 'I've got a lot of work to do. I'm just going to keep my head up, run fast and jump hard."
In first round competition of the 400-meter, Neil Braddy and Eric Janise automatically qualified for the quarterfinals. Braddy's second place finish in his heat at 46.63 automatically advances the senior, and a strong finish by Janise in 47.07 earned him a spot to get both Razorbacks through the first round.
All three Razorbacks will compete in the 800-meter quarterfinals on Friday, with Patrick Rono leading the trio at 1:49.44. Andrew Pisechko finished second in his heat, clocking 1:49.92 to put him one step closer to Eugene. Tomas Squella rounded out the Arkansas 800 crew, crossing the finish line in 1:49.94 to secure his quarterfinal spot.
"Our guys got out there and did their job today," said Head Coach Chris Bucknam. "It's obviously no small feat to get through this meet to Eugene, and we've got some work to do. It was disappointing not having Jarrion Lawson qualify, with him being the Indoor National Champion. But we've got two days to get work done."
Day two of competition will begin Friday at 10 a.m. with men's hammer. For more information on Razorback Track and Field, follow @RazorbackTF.
Live results can be followed here.
The free live stream will begin at 5 p.m., here.
Day One Results
400-Meter (First Round)
16. Neil Braddy – 46.63Q
24. Eric Janise – 47.07q
800-Meter (First Round)
6. Patrick Rono – 1:49.44Q
13. Andrew Pisechko: 1:49.92Q
14. Tomas Sqella – 1:49.94q
400-Meter Hurdles (First Round)
27. Omar McLeod – 51.87
33. Larry Donald – 52.33
1. Raymond Higgs – 25-6
12. Anthony May – 24-8.5
23. Jarrion Lawson – 23-10.75
3. Andrew Irwin – 17-7Q
42. Devin Randall – 153-11
40. Pete Mirocke – 189-2