It’s odd that having both the men’s and women’s program finishing in the top six at an NCAA Championship feels like a disappointment, but here we are. It just goes to show how spoiled Hog fans are when it comes to track success. The men’s team leaves the NCAA Outdoor Championship with a 4th place trophy, the women sixth.
Florida repeated as outdoor champions on the men’s side, and the SEC flexed their muscle once again. An incredible eight of the top 10 were SEC schools. Arkansas sealed their fate before the finals, having several key spots get eliminated in the prelims. And with no Jarrion Lawson to get 30 points on his own like he did last year, they couldn’t keep up with the depth of Florida and Texas A&M.
They did get some excellent performances from Clive Pullen, who finished second in the triple jump, Jack Bruce who was second in the 5,000 meters, and the second place 4X400 relay team. Arkansas relied on a lot of underclassmen in this meet, three of the four members of both the 4x100 and 4x400 are returning which is a positive. 2017 was more of a rebuilding year for the men that ended in a podium finish.
On the women’s side Oregon got the triple crown in dramatic fashion, with Arkansas pretty far off in the distance. After winning the title as a freshman in 2016, Lexi Weeks was second in pole vault. Her twin sister Tori was sixth. Nikki Hiltz got second in the 1,500 meters and Taliyah Brooks was third in the Heptathlon. Hiltz was the closest Razorback to a national title, getting edged out for first place by just .02 seconds. Like the men’s team, several scorers were underclassmen and should be back for next season as well.