FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Junior Alain Bailey marked the NCAA's best long jump at Saturday's John McDonnell Invitational.
With a win in the event and a jump of 26-2.25, Bailey now leads the NCAA and the SEC in the long jump. His mark is a personal best and ranks No. 9 on Arkansas' all-time list.
"Our guys performed well under some adversity and some bad weather," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "We came away from the weekend with some new regional marks and some improved ones. That’s what meets like this are all about. It was great to see Alain Bailey pop a big one in the long jump. I’ve been waiting to see that from him. J-Mee Samuels ran solid rounds of the 100 meters and came back to run well in the 200 meters. Overall, we had some guys really improve this weekend."
Also in the long jump, senior Mychael Stewart marked a personal best and an improved regional qualifier. His best jump of the day measured 25-4, good for a fourth-place finish.
Senior J-Mee Samuels improved his regional qualifier in the 100 meters twice, first with a 10.43 in the prelims and then with a 10.35 in the finals. He ranks tied for fifth in the SEC in the event. In the 200 meters, he clocked a 20.88 to earn a runner-up finish. His time ranks fifth in the SEC and 16th in the NCAA.
Arkansas' middle distance stars took to the track Saturday night for their first open races of the season. Senior Alex McClary won his heat and finished second overall in the invitational 800 meters. He clocked a regional-qualifying time of 1:49.22. He ranks third in the SEC and 12th nationally.
Junior Dorian Ulrey won the invitational 1,500 meters. His time of 3:45.20 is a regional qualifier and ranks third in the SEC and 16th nationally. Sophomore Michael Chinchar finished fifth in the same race and was just off the regional qualifier with his time of 3:47.90.
Also in the field events, senior Nkosinza Balumbu finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 54-0, an improved regional qualifier. He continues to lead the SEC.
Sophomore Luke Laird earned a runner-up finish in the javelin. His toss measured 213-4 and is an improved regional qualifier. He ranks seventh in the SEC.
In Friday night's 5,000 meters, Arkansas freshman Eric Fernandez, running unattached, won the race with a solid time of 14:18.38. His time is a personal best and well below the USA Junior Championships qualifier of 15:04.50.
Arkansas will compete next at Penn Relays, April 23-25, in Philadelphia, Pa. For more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.