From the University of Arkansas:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 1 University of Arkansas men's track and field team opened competition at the Tyson Invitational Friday with first-place performances from Caleb Cross in the 60-meter hurdles and Patrick Rono at 800 meters. Additionally, the Razorbacks racked up nine personal-best results. Featuring more than 40 colleges and universities, including seven ranked men's teams, day two of the Tyson Invitational begins Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) with field events. Running events start at 1 p.m.
Improving through each of the three rounds of the 60-meter hurdles Friday, Cross turned in a personal-best time of 7.65 to win the event. He finished just .01 seconds off the school record of 7.64 set by Michael Thomas in 2003. Based on times entering the weekend, Cross now has the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Cross replaced his previous best of 7.67 run last year at the NCAA Championships in Nampa, Idaho.
The Newport, Ark., began his day with a qualifying run of 7.89 in the preliminaries which was good for the sixth fastest of the opening round. Cross was the third-fastest qualifier for the final with this time of 7.73 in the semifinal round. From start to finish, he knocked .24 off his time over the course of three races.
"I was looking forward to three races in one day because there's room to do better after each race," Cross said. "After the prelims, I wasn't feeling so good but we worked on some things so I'm happy I got the win and a PR today. I had a better start today but that could be better and I'm always working on the finish. These next two weeks, I'll just work on staying consistent and on balance."
In winning the invitational section of the 800 meters, Rono led a trio of personal-best performances with his new lifetime best of 1:47.66. The time is more than a second faster than his previous PR of 1:48.75. With his most recent performance, Rono has the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season. The Razorback sophomore also moved from outside the top 10 into fourth place on the program's all-time list.
Teammates Anthony Lieghio and Tomas Squella also posted personal-best times Friday. Lieghio crossed the finish line in 1:48.56, good for fourth place overall, while Squella had his second PR in as many weeks with his time of 1:49.46. He finished in seventh place in the invitational section of the event.
Marek Niit paced the Razorbacks' efforts in the invitational section of the 400 meters. He won the opening section of the event with a time of 47.21 which was good for fifth place overall. He was followed by teammates Travis Southard in sixth place at a personal-best time of 47.25 and Eric Janise in 10th place at 47.45. Earlier in the day during the college section of the 400 meter, Anton Kokorin had a personal-best result of 46.88 to finish second overall in that event.
In the invitational section of the mile, Cameron Efurd took more than 13 seconds off his personal best in the event. He crossed the finish line Friday in sixth place with a time of 4:05.17, bettering his previous mark of 4:19.12. The Razorbacks also got personal-best marks from Andrew Pisechko with a 1:50.42 in the Olympic development section of the 800 meters and from Deatrich Wise, Jr. with a 14.84m/48-8.25 in the weight throw.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team's sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.