UA dominates the heptathlon at Razorback Invitational

Arkansas' Marcus Weaver competes at the 2023 SEC Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge, La.
Arkansas' Marcus Weaver competes at the 2023 SEC Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge, La.

FAYETTEVILLE -- If the Razorback Invitational is an indication, the University of Arkansas men's team is going to score big points in the heptathlon at the SEC Championships.

Arkansas took the top four spots in the heptathlon on Saturday at the Randal Tyson Center, led by junior Jack Turner, a transfer from Texas-San Antonio who won with a career-best 6,000 points.

Turner has the top collegiate score this season and is just shy of the world-leading 6,032 points set last weekend by Germany's Tim Nowak.

Turner ranks No. 2 on the British all-time list and is No. 5 on Arkansas' career ranking.

Other Razorbacks in the top four were seniors Yariel Soto Torrado, who took second with 5,874 points; Marcus Weaver, who had a career-best 5,814 that's No. 8 on the UA list; and Daniel Spejcher with 5,716.

"It's really different when you have this pack," Turner said in an Arkansas news release. "I'm very lucky to have a group like this [to train with] and I'm glad I chose to be a Razorback, that's for sure."

Turner's marks over two days included 7.09 seconds in the 60 meters, 25-6 in the long jump, 44-3 1/4 in the shot put, 6-4 in the high jump, 8.19 in the 60 hurdles, 15-9 in the pole vault and 2:35.52 in 1,000.

"I knew coming in with the training that we've had, now that I'm a Razorback, it's unlike anything else I've experienced," said Turner, who improved his previous best of 5,794 at last year's Conference USA Championships while competing at UTSA. "So I was really ready to score big just through executing everything."

Arkansas freshman John Kendricks cleared a personal-best 17-2 1/4 to take fourth in the pole vault in a field that included current world leader in professional KC Lightfoot and current collegiate leader Keaton Daniel of Kentucky.

Lightfoot won with a clearance of 19-0 1/4 and Daniel took second at 18-8 1/2.

Kendrick's previous best mark indoors had been 16-5 1/4.

"It was a really good competition, with all the good guys in the SEC and two pros," Kendricks said in an Arkansas news release. "I was happy with fourth, and I was second among the SEC guys.

"When you're competing against the guys you will face the rest of the year, it's a good feeling to come out second as a freshman.

"It was a big PR, the best day I could have asked for, and better than what I hoped for."

Arkansas junior Patrick Kiprop took second in the 3,000 in a career-best 7:52.21 while sophomore Reuben Reina took fifth in his debut in 7:54.13. Junior Elias Schreml also set a career best of 7:55.43 in finishing sixth.

Junior Ben Shearer ran a career-best 3:59.71 in the mile for Arkansas to take seventh in the invitational race.

The Razorbacks capped the meet in the 1,600 relay with the team of junior Connor Washington, senior Lance Lang, and juniors Steve McElroy and TJ Tomlyanovich running 3:04.27 to finish second behind Florida, which won in a world-leading time 3:04.08.

In women's competition, Arkansas senior Amber Anning won the 400 in a world-leading time and personal-best 50.56.

Anning also set the meet record, breaking the mark of 50.59 run by Abby Steiner in 2023. Anning's time ranks No. 10 on the all-time collegiate list and No. 3 on the UA's career list.

The Razorbacks 1,600 relay of senior Rosey Effiong, Anning, senior Nickisha Pryce (51.20), and sophomore Sanu Jallow won in 3:26.37 to set Tyson facility and meet records. Texas A&M ran the previous facility record of 3:26.71 in 2021 and Arkansas held the previous meet record of 3:26.40 set last year.

Jallow, a transfer from Texas A&M, also won the 800 in a world-leading time of 2:02.60.

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