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    No. 3 Razorbacks finish fourth at NCAA Championships

    5:48 PM, Mar 10, 2013   |    comments
    Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
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    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 3 University of Arkansas women's track and field team scored in all six of its scoring opportunities Saturday on their way to a fourth-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks finished the two-day national competition with a program-high 42.5 points and a third top-five NCAA indoor finish in as many years.

    This weekend's finish is Arkansas' sixth top-five performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships, all of which have come under head coach Lance Harter. Prior to the 2013 meet, Arkansas finished in the top five at the 1995, 2000, 2001, 2011 and 2012 national competitions. The team's 42.5 points is the most scored by an Arkansas team at the NCAA indoor meet, surpassing the total of 37 in 2000. The team scored 34 of its 42.5 points during Saturday's action.

    "We had a great weekend," Harter said following the meet. "We were seeded third and there was 1.5 points separating second and fourth place. We had one great performance after another from the pole vault, and obviously, our quarter milers set a precedent for us and our triple jumper was the real upset. Tamara Myers was the ninth qualifier for the final and popped a big jump to move up to fourth. Those were the points that were critical."

    In the final event of the competition, the Razorbacks' 4x400-meter relay team of Martine Borge, Gwendolyn Flowers, Regina George and Sparkle McKnight combined for a time of 3:30.35. Arkansas won its heat but finished second overall in the three-second final with Oregon posting the fastest time-by 0.13 seconds-in the opening heat. The time for Arkansas is the third fastest in school history.

    Earlier in the evening, George and McKnight collected 10 points for the team with respective second- and seventh-place finishes in the 400-meter event final. For the second season in a row, George finished the indoor season as the national runner up. She once again lowered her own school record with a time of 51.05, which is tied for the eighth fastest in NCAA history. In her first NCAA event final, McKnight turned in a personal-best time of 52.52 to get seventh-place honors.

    "I felt like we had won it when I crossed the finish line," George said of the 4x400-meter relay after the meet. "The fans were great and the atmosphere had us feeling like we won it. I wish Oregon would have been in our heat, but we had a good race. Overall, I feel like our team did what they had to do and we came out in fourth place this weekend."

    Arkansas started the day with six points from Makeba Alcide in the pentathlon. The Razorback senior posted a total score of 4,327 and tied with Keia Pinnick of Arizona State for the second-highest score but due to head-to-head tiebreaker rules, Alcide earned third-place points. She capped the five-event competition with a personal best at 800 meters of 2:14.05, more than two seconds clear of her previous lifetime best.

    Sandi Morris garnered the first top-eight national performance of her collegiate career with a fourth-place result in the pole vault. The transfer from North Carolina began the day with three consecutive clearances and finished the day with a best clearance of 4.35m/14-3.25.

    In the final field result of the day for the Razorbacks, Tamara Myers added nearly a foot to her lifetime best and grabbed five points for the team with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump. She squeaked into the final round of jumps as the ninth qualifier after three preliminary attempts. On her fifth pass down the runway, Myers unleashed a mark of 13.36m/43-10, the second-best triple jump in school history. She became just the second woman in school history (Gi-Gi Miller, 2001) to eclipse the 43-foot barrier.

    This weekend marks the 11th national indoor hosting duties for Arkansas. The program first welcomed the NCAA meet in 2000 and remained the host through the 2008 season. Prior to this year, the last time the Razorbacks hosted was 2010. A tape-delay broadcast of the national meet will air March 17 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

    Saturday Results
    Team Standings (top 10)

    1. Oregon - 56 points
    2. Kansas - 44
    3. LSU - 43
    4. ARKANSAS - 42.5
    5. UCF - 30
    6. Clemson - 28
    7. Arizona - 25
    7. Arizona State 25
    9. Iowa State - 23
    10. Georgia - 22

    Individual Events
    400 Meters

    2. Regina George - 51.05 (SR) (PR - prev: 51.40) [8 points]
    7. Sparkle McKnight - 52.52 (PR - prev: 52.77) [2]

    4x400m Relay
    2. Flower/McKnight/Borge/George - 3:30.35 [8 points]

    Pole Vault
    4. Sandi Morris - 4.35m/14-3.25 [5 points]

    Triple Jump
    4. Tamara Myers - 13.36m/43-10 (PR - prev: 42-10.25) [5 points]

    Pentathlon
    3. Makeba Alcide - 4,327 points [6 points]
    4. 60m hurdles - 8.45 [1,028 points]
    t-3. High Jump - 1.75m/5-8.75 [916]
    4. Shot Put - 12.22m/40-1.25 [676]
    8. Long Jump - 5.84m/19-2 [801]
    4. 800 Meters - 2:14.05 (PR - prev: 2:16.37) [906]

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