Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 5 University of Arkansas women's track and field team wrapped its weekend with its distance crew on display Sunday at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. The Razorbacks were paced by a pair of top-10 program performances in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, including a near school record by Grace Heymsfield. Overall, Arkansas had three outdoor personal bests Sunday.
Competing in section two of the steeplechase, Heymsfield ran to a lifetime-best time of 10:01.92. She finished just half a second off the school record of 10:01.42 set by Lilli Kleinmann in 2001. In addition to posting the No. 2 time in program history, Heymsfield knocked more than 11 seconds off her previous best of 10:13.41 which she ran at last year's Payton Jordan meet. The Elkins, Ark., native now owns the No. 2 and 5 times in program history.
Klenke was the Razorbacks' first runner on the track and responded with a lifetime-best time of 10:13.42 to win section three of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. With Sunday's performance, she posted the sixth-fastest time in program history and moved behind Kleinmann and Heymsfield as the third-fastest Razorback in the event. Klenke entered the weekend with a personal best of 10:25.68 from the Stanford Invitational earlier this spring.
Along with the efforts of Jessica Kamilos this year, the Razorbacks' current roster features three of the four fastest steeplechase performers in program history. Kamilos had a time of 10:15.69 in the steeplechase last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
Diane Robison continued to lower her outdoor personal best at 5,000 meters Sunday. She posted a time of 16:01.94 in section two of the event, which was good for eighth place. Last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays, Robison had a time of 16:02.47. Her lifetime best of 15:59.89 was established earlier this season indoors at the Husky Classic in February.
Arkansas collected a pair of top-10 performance at 800 meters from Stephanie Brown and Martine Borge. Off an outdoor personal best at 1,500 meters last weekend, Brown posted a time of 2:04.35 to finish as the event runner-up. She finished just .11 behind the race champion. Borge ran the second-fastest effort of her career with a time of 2:06.29, just .08 off the personal best she established earlier this year at the McDonnell Invitational.
At 1,500 meters, Keri Wood posted the second-fastest time of her career with a 4:21.07 to finish in 10th place in section two of the event. The race marked Wood's first of the season at that distance, having run a pair of 800-meter races to open the outdoor campaign. Earlier in the day, teammate Paige Johnston finished with a time of 4:30.15 to finish seventh in section four of the 1,500 meters.
The Razorbacks will close out their regular season Friday evening with the Arkansas Twilight at John McDonnell Field. Field events are tentatively scheduled for an 11 a.m. (CT) start with running events slated to begin at 6 p.m. Following the meet, Arkansas will face its championships season which will be May 9-12 with the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo.
2. Stephanie Brown - 2:04.35
8. Martine Borge - 2:06.29
10. Keri Wood - 4:21.07
7. Paige Johnston - 4:30.15
3. Grace Heymsfield - 10:01.92 (PR - prev: 10:13.41)
1. Shannon Klenke - 10:13.42 (PR - prev: 10:25.68)
8. Diane Robison - 16:01.94 (PR - prev: 16:02.47)
--. Kaitlin Flattmann - DNF