DES MOINES, Iowa (UofA) - The No. 7 University of Arkansas men's track and field team closes out its season this week at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The national meet will be contested June 8-11 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Competition for the Razorbacks begins Wednesday with the beginning of the decathlon and semifinal action in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 4x100-meter relay.
Arkansas will be represented by 14 student-athletes, spread among 11 entries in eight events. With 11 entries at the NCAA Championships, the Razorbacks are tied for the fifth-highest total in the country. The team has two entries each in the 200 meters with Marek Niit LaShawn Butler, 1,500 meters with Duncan Phillips and Dorian Ulrey and long jump with Tarik Batchelor and Raymond Higgs.
In addition to its entries in the 200 meters, 1,500 meters and long jump, Arkansas will also feature individual competitors in the steeplechase with Rick Elliott, high jump with Brede Raa Ellingsen, decathlon with Kevin Lazas. Both Razorback relays are also set to compete with Butler, Niit, Caleb Cross and Neil Braddy in the 4x100 relay and Niit, Chris Bilbrew, Ben Skidmore and Travis Southard in the 4x400 relay.
For the first time since the 2000 season, Arkansas will have an entry in the 4x400 event. In the Razorbacks' last appearance in the event at the national meet, the foursome of Kevin Baker, Sam Glover, Melvin Lister and Ryan Stanley finished second in the nation with a time of 3:02.02.
The Razorbacks have won 10 NCAA outdoor team titles, the last of which coming during the 2003 season. Arkansas has won 48 event titles. Josphat Boit was the team's last national champion with his victory in the 10, 000 meters at the 2006 meet.
In the final national ranking prior to the NCAA Championships, Arkansas holds steady at its No. 7 spot. The Razorbacks are one of six teams from the SEC ranked inside the top 25, along with second-ranked Florida, No. 4 LSU, No. 16 Georgia, No. 18 Ole Miss and No. 22 Auburn.
This week's meet will be streamed live both at NCAA.com and GoDrakeBulldogs.com. CBS Sports will televise the meet live Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday from noon-2 p.m. For meet-day coverage, including live results and interactive blog, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
NCAA Championship entries
(number represents rank among top 24 qualifiers from prelims)
200m -- 8. Marek Niit, 20.99; 12. LaShawn Butler, 21.06
1,500m -- 4. Duncan Phillips, 3:44.84; 10. Dorian Ulrey, 3:46.63
Steeplechase -- 24. Rick Elliott, 8:52.70
4x100m Relay -- 7. Cross/Braddy/Butler/Niit, 39.65
4x400m Relay -- 17. Skidmore/Niit/Bilbrew/Southard, 3:07.28
High Jump -- 8. Brede Ellingsen, 7-0.25
Long Jump -- 8. Tarik Batchelor, 25-4; 12. Raymond Higgs, 25-1.25
Decathlon -- 8. Kevin Lazas, 7,703 points