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Arkansas Track and Field 1st Team All Americans 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Arkansas wrapped up the 2018 collegiate season Friday afternoon at the NCAA Championships at Historic Hayward Field with eight Razorbacks earning First-Team All-American honors in their respective events.

“I’m very proud of how our guys competed over the final month of the season,” said head coach Chris Bucknam.
“We just came up a little short. This meet here we were looking for a team trophy – a top-four finish – we thought that was going to be an aggressive goal, but we thought we had a shot at it and we just came up short. We have a really good team, this year whether it was cross country, indoor or outdoor we were really good, but today we just didn’t have enough ammunition when it came down to it. A break here, or a break there, and it could’ve been a lot different, but that’s the nature of this sport. We had a lot of breakthrough performances this year, we’re going look back on this season and learn from what we experienced so we can get after it next year and climb back to the top of the ladder,” Bucknam continued.

Arkansas got the day started with a fourth-place finish in the 4-x-100-meter relay. Kristoffer Hari, Kemar Mowatt, Kevin Harris, and Kenzo Cotton carried the baton to the tune of 39.01 seconds to garner All-American honors. The University of Houston, who entered as the defending NCAA Champion in the event, sprinted their way to a collegiate record en route to backing up their championship from last season. Houston broke TCU’s 1989 record of 38.23 posting a time of 38.17.

Cameron Griffith followed suit, earning All-American honors in the 1,500-meters. The entire pack was in contention with 400-meters to go before the field started to get restless and made a move. Wisconsin’s Oliver Hoare captured the NCAA title running 3:44.77. Griffith’s run of 3:45.75 was good for eighth-place and the first outdoor All-American honor for Griffith.

Obi Igbokwe finished the 400-meters with All-American honors, finishing sixth in 45.16 seconds. The junior, from The Woodlands, Texas, ran a personal-best and Arkansas No. 3 time of 44.94 to qualify for today’s final. For the second time today, Arkansas was part of a final that featured a collegiate record. USC’s Michael Norman captured the NCAA title with a collegiate record time of 43.61 that broke last year’s mark of 43.70 by Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley.

Kemar Mowatt took home All-American honors in the 400-meter hurdles with a fourth-place finish, running 48.83. Mowatt and the rest of the field were part of a final that featured the second-fastest time in the event in world history. Rai Benjamin of USC captured the NCAA title in a blistering 47.02 seconds that ties Edwin Moses’ mark in 1983 and trails only Kevin Young’s world record time of 46.78 from the Olympic final in Barcelona, Spain at the 1992 Olympics that surmounted the aforementioned time by Moses.

Cotton returned to the track for the finals of the men’s 200-meters. Cotton, who ran the anchor leg od the 4-x-100-meter relay to start the meet, would take seventh-place in a time of 20.73 to earn his second All-American honor of the day.

The men’s 4-x-400-meter relay of Roy Ejiakuekwu, Obi Igbokwe, Hunter Woodhall and Kenzo Cotton combined to run 3:04.53 finishing sixth-overall. Cotton returned to Hayward for one final race, splitting 45.93 on the anchor leg of the Razorback relay to earn his third All-American honor on the day.

The men’s team finished tied for 12th-place scoring 19-points.

“It’s a sad day for us coaches regarding our seniors, whether its Jack Bruce or Kenzo Cotton or Kemar Mowatt, this is a tough day knowing that we aren’t going to have these guys battling for us anymore. I’m so proud of them, they’ve had phenomenal careers, and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and loyalty to the program. I hope their time at Arkansas meant as much to them as it meant to us coaches to have the opportunity to mold them into the young men they’ve become,” Bucknam finished.

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