TRACK & FIELD
78 combined West entries for UA
The University of Arkansas men's and women's teams will have a combined 78 entries with 63 athletes in 29 events at the NCAA West Prelims it was announced Thursday.
The West Prelims will be held in Sacramento, Calif., on May 24-27.
Arkansas' No. 1-ranked men's team has a record 44 entries with 34 athletes in 16 events.
The previous high for men's entries since the prelims format change in 2010 had been 42 by Oregon in 2015. The Razorbacks' previous high was 41 in 2016.
Three Razorbacks have national-leading marks in their events with Jaydon Hibbert in the triple jump, Ayden Owens-Delerme in the 400-meter hurdles and Wayne Pinnock in the long jump.
Arkansas' No. 5-ranked women's team has a national-leading 34 entries with 29 athletes in 13 events.
Britton Wilson has national-leading marks in the 400 and 400 hurdles for the Razorbacks.
The top 12 in each event at the East and West Prelims advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 7-10 in Austin, Texas.
ASU piles up Sun Belt honors
In the wake of its Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships sweep, the Arkansas State University men's and women's teams grabbed seven postseason awards Thursday, as announced by the league office.
ASU's Jim Patchell grabbed both the men's and women's Coach of the Year honors -- the 19th and 20th awards of his career. The Red Wolves have won a combined 26 Sun Belt titles under Patchell, with ASU's men completing a conference triple crown (cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field) this year.
On the men's side, Colby Eddowes was the lone individual winner, grabbing Freshman of the Year honors. The rookie from Australia, won the decathlon and set both meet and facility records in the process, tallying 7,349 points.
Pauline Meyer, the women's high point scorer with 30 points, was named Track Performer of the Year after winning gold in the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase while also setting meet and facility records in the latter two events.
Joining Meyer as award winners on the women's side were Camryn Newton-Smith (Field Performer of the Year) and Jaybe Shufelberger (Newcomer of the Year). Newtown-Smith set meet, facility and conference records in the heptathlon with 5,818 points while Shufelberger took silver in the 10,000 and finished fourth in the 5,000.
Arkansas men among lucky 13
The University of Arkansas men's team will join 12 other programs that will take on the Grayhawk Golf Club Course in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the NCAA Championships for all three seasons of its expiring contract with the NCAA.
Coach Brad McMakin's Razorback broke multiple school records while shooting a 43-under at the NCAA Salem (S.C.) Regional earlier this week at The Cliffs at Keowee Course to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Arkansas will join the following programs in playing Grayhawk at each NCAA Championship event held there: Arizona State, East Tennessee State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, Texas, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt. The total field at Grayhawk will be 30 teams plus individual qualifiers when the championships tee off May 26.
The Razorbacks finished ninth after three rounds of stroke play last year, one spot out of the eight-team match play portion of the championship. The Longhorns captured last year's NCAA title.
Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville was the last course to host the NCAA Championships in 2019 before the event was moved to Grayhawk. The NCAA's contract with Grayhawk was originally set to run from 2020-22, but after covid knocked out the 2020 event, the NCAA extended the deal for another season.
The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., is scheduled to host the NCAAs from 2024-26.
Arkansas seniors Segundo Oliva Pinto, who tied for fifth at 13 under, and Wil Gibson (-11) broke the school's regional record for a low 54-hole score, and senior Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira (-10) tied the old record.
All five Razorbacks finished under par at an NCAA regional for the first time, with Manuel Lozada (-6) and Julian Perico (-3) also accomplishing the feat.
Arkansas broke school records for lowest one-round score (266) and lowest score in relation to par (-22), lowest 36-hole score (537) by 12 strokes and in relation to par (-39) by 13 strokes, and lowest 54-hole score (819) by five strokes and relation to par (-45) by seven.
-- Tom Murphy
ASU moves up today's game vs. South Alabama
Arkansas State announced Thursday afternoon that today's game against South Alabama will be moved up to a 3 p.m. start instead of at 6 p.m. as originally scheduled.
The Red Wolves' final regular-season game Saturday against the Jaguars will remain as a 1 p.m. start.
-- Democrat-Gazette Press Services