SEC recognizes Lazas' NCAA-leading heptathlon
Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - For his performance last weekend at the Razorback Team Invitational, University of Arkansas junior Kevin Lazas has been named the Southeastern Conference Field Athlete of the Week as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon. In Tuesday's release of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), Arkansas continues its hold on the No. 1 spot in the country.
Lazas won the heptathlon last weekend at the Razorback Team Invitational with a school-record and NCAA-leading performance of 6,042 points. With his point total, Lazas became the just the eighth collegiate heptathlete to top 6,000 points and is now ranked No. 6 on the all-time collegiate performer list. Lazas' score is also the ninth-highest performance in NCAA history. With his weekend performance, he took the national lead in the heptathlon by 223 points.
"(Kevin) is a great athlete," head coach Chris Bucknam said following Lazas' performance. "He comes in and competes every single day. That's the way he practices. I'm really proud of him. Coach Geopfert does a tremendous job with all of our multi-event athletes. It was a great effort by Kevin and a good way to start the season."
During the two-day, seven-event competition, Lazas had career-best marks of 6.94 at 60 meters, 14.79m/48-6.25 in the shot put and 2.01m/6-7 in the high jump. He won four-60 meters, long jump, shot put, pole vault-of the seven events. He established a day-one lead of 192 points and extended his lead to win the heptathlon by 287 points.
The Brentwood, Tenn., native surpassed the former school record of 6,022 points set last year by teammate Gunnar Nixon. Lazas is now the school-record holder in the heptathlon and decathlon. His score is the No. 2 total in the world this year and adds more than 100 points to his previous career-best score of 5,930 points. Through the first two years of his collegiate career at Arkansas, Lazas is a four-time All-American.
Arkansas returns to action Feb. 1-2 with the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York. The field of competition this weekend is scheduled to feature five of the top-10 teams in the country, and 10 of the top 25 from this week's national poll. The Razorbacks are one of seven ranked teams from the SEC, all of which are positioned inside the top 20.