Former Razorback Morris wins USATF pole vault title

The Associated Press USA TITLE: Sandi Morris celebrates Sunday after clearing the bar in the women's pole vault at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Associated Press USA TITLE: Sandi Morris celebrates Sunday after clearing the bar in the women's pole vault at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Arkansas alum captured the 2018 USA Track and Field championship in the pole vault event Sunday as two current Razorbacks placed in the top 10.

Morris entered the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium as the world leader with her mark from indoors, where she cleared 16-2.75 feet. She controlled the competition for most of the day Sunday and finished at 15-9 to win the 2018 title.

Current Razorbacks Lexi Jacobus and Tori Hoggard each cleared two bars. Hoggard cleared the first bar on the initial attempt, while clearing her second bar of the day on the third try. Jacobus cleared 14-1.25 on her second attempt and needed three looks at 14-7.25 to make a clean pass.

Hoggard placed seventh and Jacobus placed ninth. Both cleared 14-7.25.

"It was fun," said Morris. "We had a lot to deal with, there was actually quite the swirl of winds, which can be quite difficult in the pole vault.

"I finally entered the competition and didn't get to finish at the end I was really excited to take my attempts at the (outdoor) world lead. I took one attempt at it and had a miss at it and I was feeling really strong but had to shut it down (due to weather).

Jenn Suhr, who entered the meet holding the world outdoor lead in the pole vault at 16-2, finished third in the competition with a best of 15-1.

The title was Morris' second straight in the USATF Outdoor Championships. It was her fourth USATF title overall in the event, adding to her titles from USATF Indoors in 2016 and 2017.

Hoggard and Jacobus, both juniors, were recently named to the 2017-18 Google Cloud Academic All-America Division I Cross Country/Track and Field Teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America for outstanding accomplishments in academics and athletics.

Since joining the Razorbacks in the fall of 2015, the Weeks sisters have maintained a 4.0-grade point average while majoring in Chemistry.

Kenzo Cotton led the way for the Razorbacks in men's competitions Saturday by advancing to the semifinals of the 200-meter dash. He was joined by Razorback alums Marqueze Washington and Jarrion Lawson.

Washington and Lawson ran in heat one, finishing in 20.85 and 21.72, respectively. Neither finished in the top-three to earn the auto-q to the semifinal and would have to wait to see if they advanced on time.

Heat two saw Cotton grab an auto-Q spot into the semis with a third-place finish in his heat running 20.72. Washington (20.85q) advanced on time, holding the fastest time-qualifying mark from prelims, while Lawson finished 19th overall in the event.

Cotton was also named to the 2017-18 All-America teams as a senior Kinesiology-Exercise Science major. He graduated early in May and closed out his career at the USATF Outdoor Championships.

Obi Igbokwe finished in fifth place in the 400-meter dash, running 0:45.23. He is an NCAA All-American in the event.

Larry Donald wrapped up his career as a Razorback with a 19th-place finish in the prelims of the 110-meter hurdles, running 14.20.

Arkansas alum Andrew Irwin finished with a best clearance of 18-8.25 to take fifth place in the pole vault, cleanly clearing his first three bars of the meet.

The conditions were rainy and overcast on the opening day. Larry Donald posted a time of 0:51.93 in the first-round of the 400-meter hurdles, finishing sixth in his heat and 22nd overall. He returned to the track on Saturday for the 110-meter hurdles.

Sports on 06/27/2018

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