Arkansas men, Texas women lead at NCAA Indoor

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NAMPA, Idaho (AP) -- Arkansas freshman Andrew Irwin won the pole vault at 18 feet, 2 1/2 inches to help the Razorbacks top the men's standings, and Texas led the women's points race Friday night after the first day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

With more than half of the event finals remaining, Arkansas had 22 points. Texas was second with 20, and Arizona third with 16. Two-time defending champion Florida, which has the bulk of its meet-high 12 athletes competing Saturday, had seven points.

Texas topped the women's standings with 17 points, followed by Iowa State with 15 and Arizona with 13. Oregon, seeking its third straight title, was tied for 10th with eight points.

TCU senior Whitney Gipson won the women's long jump at 22-8, tying the collegiate record and the best indoor mark of the year. Russia's Olga Kucherenko also jumped 22-8.

"This really means a lot to me," said Gipson, who set an NCAA championship meet record as well. "I really just wanted to come out and set a personal record and see what happens."

New Mexico redshirt sophomore Kendall Spencer, rebounding from a hamstring injury in his first indoor meet a year ago, won the men's long jump at 26-3 1/2. LSU's Damar Forbes was second at 26-2 3/4.

"I came in here just hoping to make it to the finals," said Spencer, whose first jump was nearly 3 feet shorter than his winning one. "After I got that first lousy jump out of the way, I started having fun and can't believe I ended up winning. I was really starting to doubt I could make a full recovery from my injury until today."

Texas A&M's Ameer Webb won the men's 200 meters in 20.57 seconds. Arkansas' Akheem Gauntlett was second in 20.62.

LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan successfully defended her indoor title in the women's 200, finishing in 22.74.

"I tried not to think about repeating and just focused on improving my time," said Duncan, also the outdoor title last year. "The field for this event is competitive and I know they're always improving, so I kept pushing myself to get better. Fortunately, I was able to hold everyone off today."

Arizona State's Jordan Clarke won the men's shot put at 68-5 1/4. He won the outdoor title last year.

"Coming into this event with such a competitive field, I felt like I was going to have to have the best throw of my life win it," said Clarke, who was seeded eighth in the event.

He shattered his personal best by nearly 4 feet.

Southern Illinois' Jeneva McCall won the women's weight competition handily with a throw of 75-1 3/4, nearly 5 feet farther than second-place Ida Storm of UCLA.

Iowa State junior Betsy Saina won the women's 5,000 in 15:38.83. Arizona's Lawi Lalang, who set the collegiate record last month, won the men's 5,000 in a meet-record 13:25.11.

Notre Dame won the men's distance medley in 9:35.48, edging Indiana in a tight finish.

In the women's distance medley, Washington won in 11:05.20.

Arizona's Brigetta Barrett took the women's high jump at 6-5.

In the men's heptathlon, Florida senior Gray Horn topped the field with 3,357 points with three events remaining. Boise State's Kurt Felix was second at 3,344.