Bucknam would love an outdoor team that gets into the SEC
Fayetteville — Since arriving in Arkansas in 2008, no Arkansas head coach has spoken more wisely or respectfully to his opposition to the Securities and Exchange Commission than men’s track coach Chris Bucknam.
Paknam’s wisdom does not replace honesty.
So with his men defending their SEC outdoor championship Thursday through Saturday in Baton Rouge, L.A., Bucknam last Friday didn’t hold back from his note during this past winter’s indoor season.
Still think your Razorbacks will be better outdoors than an indoor team?
Bucknam replied, “Yes.” “I still feel like we have a really good team outdoors.”
If they prove to be better outdoors than indoors, then they will actually prove to be “really, really good”.
Indoors at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville, the winning Razorbacks edged out second-place Florida 100.25-73.
At the NCAA Indoor in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Arkansas handily won the national championship 63-40 over Georgia. Florida came in third place with 34 points.
“Our indoor team was on point and we made it to the NCAA Tournament,” Bucknam said. “The 14 guys we’ve brought in, he’s scored 13 goals. If we can continue to work together as a team and improve this thing and bring it together, I feel like our outdoor team has the same kind of potential, if not a little better. We’re deep and unique.”
The addition of the outdoor disc certainly deepens Arkansas, which won the NCAA indoor top spots with Jaydon Hibbert’s triple jump, Carey MacLeod’s volleyball long jump and her 4×400-meter relay.
The Razorbacks scored 16 points on putting shooting from second place Jordan West, fifth overall in the NCAA meet, Roggie Stona third and Ralford Mullings seventh.
All of them not only shoot for points in Baton Rouge but are discus throwing dynamos, especially Stona and Mullings.
“Stona has the fourth-best pitching in NCAA history,” Bucknam said.
Adding defending NCAA Outdoor decathlon champion Ayden Owens-Delerme, All American long jumper Wayne Pinnock, All American distance man Patrick Kiprop, and 400-meter All-American Christopher Bailey, among others heralds the championship for Arkansas.
However, many members of the SEC could disprove it, Bucknam asserts.
Behind No. 2 nationally Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and No. 3-6 LSU.
“We’re going to be challenged left and right,” Bucknam said.
Heading into its final SEC and NCAA meeting, seldom revenge is the driving force behind the retirement of Arkansas Women’s Coach Lance Harter’s Hall of Fame with seven national championships and 44 SEC outdoor and indoor cross country championships.
He does this week. By four points in last year’s SEC outdoor championship, Florida clinched Arkansas’ three-sports streak of 10 SEC titles.
Harter stresses the Gators’ 2022 outdoor bite even after sinking them 130.5-84 and winning the 2023 SEC Indoor and leaving them a distant third while setting three collegiate records winning the 2023 NCAA Indoor, 64-60 edging out Texas
Oh, yeah, Harter said. “That’s definitely a factor. I interrupted our series with four points. It’s a reaffirmation for these kids that every point counts.”
Nationally, Florida ranks second, Arkansas third, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Kentucky, and Ole Miss sixth through ten.