Golden Lions’ Armstead advances in West Preliminary shot put

AUSTIN, Texas — Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead took a step closer to qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship with a throw of 18.73 meters Thursday in the West Preliminary.

Armstead is one of 16 throwers still remaining in the competition as the top 12 will advance to Drake University in Iowa for the finals.

After a foul on his first throw, Armstead recorded a 17.52 on his second throw before his qualifying throw on his third attempt. He posted a 17.78 on his third throw before fouls on his final two attempts.

He placed eighth in his flight and 10th overall. Texas’ Hayden Baillio leads the pack with a 19.92.

Through day one, the No. 8 Arkansas men’s track and field team has a national qualifier in Raymond Higgs, and eight runners advanced to the quarterfinal round of competition. With his performance Thursday, Higgs will represent the Razorbacks in the long jump at the NCAA Championships.

Higgs only needed one jump to secure a spot at the national meet. On his first attempt of long jump qualifying, the Razorback sophomore got out to a wind-aided mark of 27 feet. The jump stood as the best of the day among all competitors. Higgs, the SEC champion in the long jump, will enter the NCAA Championships with the best jump in the NCAA, the 27-2.25 measure from the conference meet.

In the first event on the track, Caleb Cross and Kyle Dunn qualified for the next round of the 400-meter hurdles. Cross was the 12th overall qualifier with a time of 52.33 while Dunn had a time of 52.38.

The Razorbacks’ third qualifier of the day was Duncan Phillips in the 1,500 meters. He was 10th overall among the 24 qualifiers.

Arkansas qualified three of its four entries in the 400 meters for the next round. Akheem Gauntlett, Neil Braddy and Ben Skidmore will continue in the second round, set for 6 p.m. today.

Leoman Momoh was the team’s top performer in the 800 meters with a time of 1:49.79. He will be joined in the quarterfinal by Anthony Lieghio.

Eight Arkansas runners qualified for the quarterfinal round Thursday as the No. 13 women’s track and field team began competition at the preliminary.

Brittany Hyter was Arkansas’ first qualifier of the day with her effort in the 400-meter hurdles. The Razorback senior finished fifth in her heat with a time of 1:00.18.

The Razorbacks picked up two more qualifiers in the 1,500 meters. Kristen Gillespie won her heat while Keri Wood grabbed an automatic spot into the next round with a fourth-place finish.

In her first of two individual events this weekend, Tiffany Hines qualified 16th overall to move on to the quarterfinal round of the 100 meters. Hines also qualified for the 200 meters.

All three Razorbacks in the 400 meters advanced to today’s quarterfinal. Regina George, Whitney Jones and Gwendolyn Flowers swept the top-three spots to move on.

In the final event of the night for the team, Martine Borge finished fifth in her heat.