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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sports

Hall, track team run NCAA leading times at Arkansas meet


Running in three events and winning all three, senior Elijah Hall put his team in shooting distance of the NCAA Championships with less than a month of competition remaining. | File photo/The Cougar

With the NCAA Indoor Championships less than a month away, the track & field team ran some of the fastest times in school history at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, this weekend.

Hosted by the No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks, senior sprinter Elijah Hall helped the Cougars to wins in the men’s 60m, 200m invitational and 4x400m relay. All three times rank in the top 5 of the NCAA this season and the relay race broke the school record that was set earlier in the year.

The men’s 60m saw three of the nation’s top 10 fastest times be set. But Hall was able to outrun both Kenzo Cotton of Arkansas and Raheem Chambers of Auburn to win the final in 6.58s. Hall’s time broke him out of a tie for third place in the nation as he just outran Cotton, who finished in 6.59s.

Hall’s time is the second fastest time for any Cougar, behind only Cameron Burrell’s 6.48s at the 2016 NCAA Championships.

But Hall was far from over and he showed he still had plenty of energy left on day two of the meet. Running in the men’s 200m invitational he almost broke his own school record again. Winning the race in 20.52s, Hall came within one one hundredth of a second of tying the school record.

While not improving his time, Hall solidified his spot at No. 4 in the nation in the men’s 200m.

Still with energy to run, Hall joined his teammates, juniors Amere Lattin, Mario Burke and Kahmari Montgomery, in the men’s 4x400m relay, the final event of the meet.

Lattin, Burke and Montgomery were all on the relay team that broke the school record at the Corky Classic earlier in the season on Jan. 13. But with Hall now joining their pack they put on their best race yet.

The group made history again as they won the relay in three minutes, 4.18s, shaving almost three whole seconds off the school record. Their time moved the 4×4 team all the way to No. 4 in the country.

Lattin and Montgomery both had impressive showings of their own as they tried to improve their stock.

Lattin finished second in the men’s 60m hurdles with a time of 7.79s. While not matching his time from a year ago, Lattin’s season best moved him into a tie for No. 15 in the country in the hurdles.

Meanwhile Montgomery continued his climb toward the school 400m record. Having already ran the fourth and third fastest times in school history, in consecutive races, Montgomery once again made history as he crossed the finish line at 46.00s, the second fastest time in school history.

While not winning the race, he moved up to No. 9 in the nation with his performance, tightening his grip on a national championship berth with the American Athletic Conference Championship coming up.

The track & field team takes a week off from competing this week. But on Feb. 23, they will go to Birmingham, Alabama, for the first day of competition at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships.

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