Razorback Communications Press Release
Written by Shawn Price
FAYTETTEVILLE, Ark. – An eight-team field will square off in the Arkansas Qualifier on Friday in the Randal Tyson Track Center. Hosting a fourth consecutive home meet, the No. 2 Razorbacks are still expecting a few season debuts among its squad in this meet.
Joining Arkansas this week are Arizona, No. 19 Arizona State, Kansas, No. 21 Kansas State, Missouri, UCLA, and Washington State. Field events begin at noon with running events following at 2 p.m., when the live stream on SEC Network + starts.
“Competition-wise it’s great to see new faces and programs,” said Razorback men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “It’s good for the sport and it’s good for us when we are able to bring those teams in here. The variety of teams is great for our guys.
“We hope that we get a few guys debuting this weekend, which includes Kris Hari (60), Phillip Lemonious (60H) and Andrew Kibet (800).”
Hari set a national record for Denmark during the 2020 indoor season with a time of 6.62, which ranks him third on the Razorback all-time list. Lemonious, the 2020 NJCAA champion in the hurdles has a career best of 7.75, while Kibet, a NJCAA champion in the mile and 1,000m with career best times of 4:04.51 and 2:25.90 will race in the 800 where his best is 1:53.92 indoors.
The Razorbacks have four hurdlers racing on Friday, including Tre’Bien Gilbert, who posted his first collegiate hurdle victory last weekend. Joining Kibet in the 800 is teammate Kieran Taylor, who produced a career best of 1:48.66 as runner-up recently.
Another key race for Arkansas is the 3,000m and the return of Amon Kemboi, who missed action last week in the Razorback Invitational. Racing with Kemboi will be a crew that includes Gilbert Boit, Emmanuel Cheboson, Jacob McLeod, Myles Richter, Tommy Romanow, and Josh Shearer. Racing in the mile for the Razorbacks are Luke George and Reese Walters.
“The 3,000m is going to be real important for us since we missed a wonderful opportunity last week with Amon Kemboi not being able to race due to contact tracing with an eventual false-positive,” explained Bucknam. “We have to get him in a 3k this weekend.”
An Arkansas crew of James Milholen, Rhayko Schwartz, Ethan Carney, and Jadon Bartholomew will contest the 400m. In the 200m the Hogs have Tylin Jackson, Rashad Boyd, and Cade Clark racing in separate sections.
Fast times inside the Tyson Center were prevalent last weekend in various events with the combination of elite athletes and a new Mondo surface.
“It’s a phenomenal facility,” stated Bucknam. “Obviously, having fast people on it makes a difference. With the new surface on the banked oval, as well as the straightaway for the 60 and hurdles, the reviews that we’re getting from the athletes are very good and the results are showing it.”
Currently, with Arkansas hosting collegiate and professional meets, 14 world-leading marks for the 2021 indoor season have been set inside the Randal Tyson Track Center. For the men, those events include 60, 400, 800, mile, 60 hurdles, shot put, and distance medley relay.