Championship season begins with No. 3 ranking
Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 5 University of Arkansas women's track and field team closed out competition at the Razorback Team Invitational Saturday with an NCAA-leading performance from Regina George at 400 meters and six lifetime bests throughout the day. Overall, the Razorbacks finished the day with seven top-three results in front of more than 1,200 fans at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Running in the last of 10 heats, George raced to an NCAA-leading time of 52.26 which is also a new lifetime best for the Razorback senior. During the last three sections of the timed final, the collegiate lead in the event changed hands three times, capped by George's run. She entered the weekend with the nation's fastest time, and lowered that time (53.30) by more than a second.
Grace Heymsfield turned in a career-best performance on her way to a second-place finish in the invitational section of the mile. The Elkins, Ark., native raced to a finishing time of 4:35.44, knocking exactly eight seconds off her previous best and giving her the third-fastest time in the NCAA this season. With Saturday's performance, Heymsfield becomes the second-fastest miler in school history, less than one second behind school-record holder Kristen Gillespie (4:34.49).
"Ovearall, we had a phenomenal weekend," head coach Lance Harter said. "For Grace Heymsfield to run 4:35 and still have something in the tank, that really says something about the future. I think she can break our school record and we've had some pretty good people hold it. That was fantastic."
Running in the invitational section of the 3,000 meters, Dominique Scott shattered her lifetime best with a final time of 9:18.71 which earned her a second-place finish. The time is nearly 23 seconds faster than her previous best in the event. Scott's time Saturday is good for third among SEC runners and sixth overall in the NCAA. Arkansas now has two runners inside the nation's top eight with the addition of Diane Robison (9:19.79).
"That was a huge PR for Dominique," Harter said. "She was in the same situation where she didn't trust the finish. She closed like crazy but just ran out of room at the end. But that's another big performance for her."
In the semifinal round of the 60-meter hurdles, Kemp had the second-fastest time at 8.26 and was the third overall qualifier for the event final. She matched the time in the final and finished in third place to add six points to the Razorbacks team total. With her time of 8.23 in Friday's preliminary round, Kemp is tied for the eighth-fastest time in the NCAA this season.
Tamara Myers was the Razorbacks' lone field competitor Saturday and she responded with a third-place finish in the triple jump. She finished the meet with a day's best mark of 12.66m/41-6.5. She posted identical marks in rounds two and three. With her effort Saturday, Myers has posted the best two jumps of her career in season. The Razorback sophomore has a personal best of 12.95m/42-6 from the 2013 season opener.
Martine Borge turned in a season-best performance at 800 meters with a fourth-place finish in the invitational section of the event. She crossed the finish line in a time of 2:08.86 to add five points to the Razorbacks' team total. Arkansas' remaining points at the scored meet came from Keri Wood in the mile and the 4x400-meter relay team of George, Makeba Alcide, Gwendolyn Flowers and Megan Paul.
On the team leaderboard, the Razorbacks finished in fourth place overall in the 11-team invitational with 80 points. The team's weekend victories came from George at 400 meters Saturday and Alcide who broke the school record and established an NCAA leader in the pentathlon Friday.
Arkansas returns to action next weekend with a trip to New York for the Armory Collegiate Invitational. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team's sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.
1. No. 7 Florida 101
2. No. 6 LSU 100
3. No. 13 Texas 87
4. No. 5 Arkansas 80
5. No. 16 Georgia 78
6. No. 12 Arizona 48
7. Florida State 46
8. Oklahoma 32
9. No. 17 Baylor 30
9. No. 23 Nebraska 30
11. Oklahoma State 11
60 Meters (semifinal)
13. Gwendolyn Flowers - 7.60 (PR)
1. Regina George - 52.26 (PR) [10 points]
11. Megan Paul - 55.14
24. Chrishuna Williams - 56.71
25. Phyllis George - 56.80
39. Caitlin Noonan - 1:01.26
--. Sparkle McKnight - DNS
800 Meters (Invitational)
4. Martine Borge - 2:08.86 [5 points]
8. Hannah Wrigley - 2:18.30
2. Grace Heymsfield - 4:35.44 (PR) [8 points]
8. Keri Wood - 4:50.68 (PR) [1 point]
--. Diane Robison - DNS
2. Jessica Kamilos - 4:52.43
3. Paige Johnston - 4:53.68
8. Shannon Klenke - 4:58.08 (PR)
3,000 Meters (Invitational)
2. Dominique Scott - 9:18.71 (PR) [8 points]
10. Semehar Tesfaye - 9:36.13
8. Paul/Flowers/Alcide/George - 3:46.27 [2 points]
60m Hurdles (final)
3. Ivanique Kemp - 8.26 [6 points]
60m Hurdles (semifinal)
3. Ivanique Kemp - 8.26Q
3. Tamara Myers - 12.66m/41-6.5 [6 points]
Q - qualified for next round; PR - personal best