Of all 17 sports at the University of Arkansas there’s only one still left playing, and it’s the one with the most realistic chance at a national title. The track and field team is out west in Eugene, Oregon for the Outdoor Championships.
The men can add on to the indoor national title they won in March, but they don’t go in as the No. 1 team. That honor goes to Texas A&M, even though Arkansas won the SEC championships last month. The Hogs do have an excellent chance to come home the victors, but don’t ask this team about the idea of repeating that indoor National Championship.
“I haven’t thought about it,” said head coach Chris Bucknam. “We’re just focused in on what we can do and taking care of today. Then we’ll take care of Thursday and Friday and Saturday. I’m proud of what we’ve done so far and we have one more big job at hand. So we’ll see what happens.”
Day one brings the first scoring chance for Arkansas with Andrew Irwin in the pole vault. The Razorbacks will also be in action in the decathlon with Kevin Lazas. Preliminary competition today will also include Akheem Gauntlett at 400 meters.
“There’s a lot of athletes out there that are running for themselves,” said Bucknam. “We are running for the Razorbacks. We are competing for each other, not just ourselves. I think when you add that into the mix, that’s a potent concoction when you have highly motivated individuals that want to do it for the team.”
The Championship will run for four days, with Saturday concluding the event.
Arkansas’ last Outdoor National Championship came in 2003.