Razorbacks win 41st national championship
Posted: March 9, 2013 at 8:21 p.m.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas' men won the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship on Saturday at Randal Tyson Track Center.
The Razorbacks won their 41st national championship in track & field and cross country and first under fifth-year head coach Chris Bucknam. The NCAA title is Arkansas' first since the 2006 indoor season.
Arkansas clinched the team title when Kemoy Campbell finished second in the 3,000 meters and the Razorbacks' 4x400 team of Marek Niit, Neil Braddy, Caleb Cross and Akheem Gauntlett set a collegiate record with a time of 3:03.50 in the meet's final race. Arkansas finished with 74 points, 15 ahead of second-place Florida.
"I hope our alums are proud," Bucknam said. "It was important. We wanted to bring the national championship to our alums and Coach (John) McDonnell, make them proud and feel good about the program.
"To win it here, for sure, is big. This is an iconic place, the fastest track in the world."
Junior Kevin Lazas and sophomore Andrew Irwin won individual national titles for the Razorbacks, which were ranked No. 1 nationally since the preseason. Lazas won the heptathlon with a score of 6,175 points and Irwin won his second consecutive indoor pole vault title Friday by clearing a height of 18 feet, 8.25 inches.
Arkansas, which won its 94th conference championship in the three sports last month, has won 43 NCAA events in all, but was forced to vacate two in 2008 because of NCAA sanctions. This year's win was the program's record 20th indoors.
The Razorbacks finished runner-up in the NCAA meet last year to Florida, falling five points short. The Gators had won three straight championships.
Oregon won the women's title for the fourth consecutive year with 56 points. Kansas (44), LSU (43) and Arkansas (42.5) finished second, third and fourth, respectively.
The Razorbacks' women had won their first conference meet since 2003 last month.