FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Kevin Lazas won the heptathlon and Kemoy Campbell finished second in the 3,000-meter run as Arkansas won its record 20th title at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
The title is the first for the Razorbacks since 2006, their 41st track championship overall, and it's the first under coach Chris Bucknam.
Campbell clinched the title with his strong finish on the final lap of the 3,000. His eight team points gave Arkansas 64 overall, enough to clinch the championship with one event remaining.
The Razorbacks finished with 74 points, 15 ahead of three-time defending champion Florida.
“It feels good, no question about it,” Bucknam said. “I'm really proud of these guys. It was a great, great effort by our kids and it feels great to get it, feels good to get that first national championship.
“I hope our alums, coach (McDonnell) and our alums, are happy with what we've done.”
Oregon won the women's championship with 56 points, the school's fourth in a row. It clinched the title in the final event, the 4x400 relay, and finished 12 points ahead of second-place Kansas.
The Ducks' relay team went off in the first of three heats in the final event. The team of English Gardner, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler and Phyllis Francis put up a time of 3:30.22 — good enough to hold off LSU in the event and secure the overall championship.
“I'm absolutely elated,” Oregon coach Robert Johnson said. “This one is probably sweeter than the others, even though they're all sweet. This one right here, we really had to dig down deep and perform.”
Arkansas' men held a 16-point lead over Florida after the first day of competition on Friday, and they received an early boost Saturday with Lazas' 10 points. The senior scored 6,175 points to hold off Wisconsin's Japheth Cato, who finished with 6,165.
It wasn't until near the end of the meet, however, that the Razorbacks were finally able to relax following Campbell's run.
The junior dropped the baton during the final leg of Friday night's distance-medley relay, an event in which the Razorbacks had hoped to score valuable points in their attempt to dethrone Florida.
He more than made up for that miscue on Saturday with his final-lap kick — finishing behind Arizona's Lawi Lalang and putting his team out of reach overall.
He entered the event as the 15-ranked runner in the 3,000.
“I went home last night, and I really went back to the drawing board,” Campbell said. “I saw what I did wrong or whatever, but I came back tonight with a vengeance, just saying I had to get some points for my team.