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STATE SPORTS BRIEFS: Smith to declare for draft, sign with agent | UA piles up wins at LSU | State meets set to begin

by Jeremy Muck | May 3, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

BASKETBALL

Smith to declare for draft, sign with agent

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman previously said none of the Razorbacks' seniors will be using an extra season of eligibility allowed by the NCAA because of the coronavirus, but forward Justin Smith officially announced on Twitter on Sunday that he will enter the NBA Draft and sign with an agent.

Smith, a 6-7 forward and graduate transfer from Indiana, averaged 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in his only season at Arkansas and helped the Razorbacks go 25-7 and advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for the first time since 1996. He started all 28 games for which he dressed out and missed four recovering from right ankle surgery.

-- Bob Holt

TRACK AND FIELD

UA piles up wins at LSU

The University of Arkansas' No. 2 women's and No. 12 men's track and field teams combined for nine victories or top collegiate finishes Saturday at the LSU invitational in Baton Rouge.

Tiana Wilson, an Arkansas sophomore from Hamburg, won the 400 meters in a career-best 51.21 seconds. Her time is No. 5 on the UA all-time list.

Arkansas swept the top four places in the 100-meter hurdles, with former Razorback Taliyah Brooks winning in 12.73. Sophomores Daszay Freeman (12.93) and Yoveinny Mota (12.95) took second and third with former Razorback Payton Chadwick, from Springdale, fourth in 12.98.

Arkansas senior Shafiqua Maloney won the 800 in 2:04.69, and Jada Baylark, a junior from Little Rock Parkview, was the top collegian in the 100 in 11.34. Maloney, Morgan Burks-Magee, Wilson and Paris Peoples won the 1,600 relay in 3:30.62.

Arkansas sophomore Nastassja Campbell and LSU's Lisa Gunnarsson each cleared 14-8 1/4 for the top mark in the pole vault, but Gunnarsson won because she made 14-4 1/2 on her first attempt while Campbell needed two attempts.

Former Razorback Sparkle McKnight won the 400-meter hurdles in 56.38.

Also, Arkansas junior Krissy Gear won the 1,500 meters in a career-best 4:09.00 at the West Coast Relays in Clovis, Calif.

In men's competition in Baton Rouge, Arkansas junior Kieran Taylor, from Little Rock Catholic, won the 800 in 1:48.87, and junior Carter Persyn won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:01.63.

The Razorbacks' 400 relay team of Roman Turner, Cade Clark, Tre'Bien Gilbert, and Jalen Brown won in 39.56. James Milholen, Jeremy Farr, Rhayko Schwartz and Kristoffer Hari won the 1,600 relay in 3:10.61.

Arkansas got second-place finishes from Gilbert in the 110-meter hurdles (13.61), LaQuan Nairn in the long jump (wind-aided 26-0) and Nick Wilson in the 400-meter hurdles (50.86).

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

State meets set to begin

The state school track and field championships begin today with the Class 1A meet at Mineral Springs High School.

The Trinity Christian boys and the Alpena girls won the 2019 titles.

The Class 3A event will take place Tuesday at Prescott High School where the Prescott boys and Harding Academy girls will look to defend their titles. The Pea Ridge girls and Magnolia boys, the reigning Class 4A champions, will be among the favorites again when the Class 4A state meet kicks off Tuesday at Nashville High School.

Gurdon High School will hold the Class 2A state meet on Wednesday, with the Earle boys and Melbourne girls serving as defending champions.

On Thursday, the Class 5A state meet will be at Hot Springs High School where both the Vilonia boys and Sylvan Hills girls will attempt to repeat. Rogers Heritage is hosting the Class 6A state meet, also on Thursday. The Fayetteville boys and Bentonville girls captured championships two years ago.

The Meet of Champs is scheduled for May 15 at Harding University in Searcy, while the state decathlon/heptathlon meet will be in Fayetteville on May 19-20.

-- Erick Taylor

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