From the University of Arkansas:
New York, N.Y. - The No. 1 University of Arkansas men's track and field team opened competition Friday at the 2013 Armory Collegiate Invitational with a trio of top-three finishes. The Razorbacks racked up a second-place finish from Jarrion Lawson in the long jump and third-place results from Caleb Cross in the 60-meter hurdles and the team's distance-medley relay.
Lawson turned in a runner-up performance in the championship section of the long jump. The Razorback freshman finished with a final mark and personal-best jump of 7.84m/25-8.75. With his effort Friday, Lawson added more than eight inches to his previous best. Based on the jumps heading into the weekend, he owns the No. 3 mark in the NCAA. Teammate Raymond Higgs is the national leader at 7.95m/26-1.
"I thought Jarrion had breakthrough day," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "He was able to take all six jumps through the finals and had a couple of big jumps that he fouled on. I think it was a big learning day for him and he was able to put out of couple of big jumps. We're really proud of him and what he's doing for us in his freshman year."
The Razorbacks' distance-medley relay team of Anthony Lieghio (1,200m), Eric Janise (400m), Patrick Rono (800m) and Kemoy Campbell (1,600m) combined for a third-place time of 9:35.50. Arkansas' time is a nine-second improvement on its previous season best and, based on times entering the weekend and in Friday's race, represents the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season.
Arkansas' final race of the day saw Cross run to a third-place overall finish in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. The Newport, Ark., navigated a pair of equipment issues with his blocks to post a time of 7.77 in section two of the timed final, mirroring the time he ran in Friday's afternoon preliminary round.
"Caleb had two solid races today," Bucknam said. "He's real consistent, running in that low to mid-7.7 range. He had a little bit of trouble with his blocks in the final and came down little uneven off the first hurdle, and that may have thrown off his rhythm a little bit, but he's never been as consistent as he has been these last few meets. He's priming himself for a really big performance down the road."
In the first championship result of the weekend for the Razorbacks, Cameron Efurd raced to a fourth-place overall finish at 1,000 meters. Using a late charge over the final 75 meters to out-lean Nate McClafferty of Duke, Efurd won heat four of five with a time of 2:25.78. He established a personal best with Friday's performance, replacing his previous best of 2:26.00 run earlier this season.
Saturday's schedule is set to feature championship-section action at 200 meters, 800 meters, mile, 4x400-meter relay, high jump, triple jump and weight throw. This marks' the Razorback men's first trip to New York for the Armory meet since the 2011 season. Arkansas' first event (200m) Saturday will begin at 10:55 a.m. (CT) with Lawson returning to duty, this time on the track.
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.