A career’s worth of hard work and tireless dedication paid off for senior Tori Hoggard who is the newest National Champion in the pole vault following Thursday nights action at the 2019 NCAA Championships at Mike. A. Myers Stadium on the campus of The University of Texas.
Starting with the women’s pole vault. Arkansas added another National Champion to the history books as Tori Hoggard forever etched her name in stone as the 2019 NCAA pole vault champion. Hoggard entered the meet having cleared a season-best 4.50m (14-9) in a runner-up finish at the Texas Relays. Hoggard left with a new outdoor PR of 4.56m (14-11.50) and an NCAA title. The title for Hoggard is the first of her career and the fifth for Arkansas over the last four years adding to the four individual titles by Lexi Jacobus. Jacobus, who competed in this competition, finished T-9th clearing 4.20m (13-9.25) alongside teammate Desiree Freier who cleared an identical height to tie for ninth as well. With the championship, Lexi and Tori become the first sisters in NCAA history to win pole vault titles.
“I just came into today wanting to have fun,” said Hoggard. “It’s my last NCAA Championship and I’m a senior. I told myself just go have fun and whatever happens, happens and I think that played to my advantage. I went in with calm nerves, and when I found out I won it was a flow of emotions. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Obviously, I’ve seen Lexi do it four times, am I was just really excited to have my chance,” Hoggard continued.
Taylor Werner earned First-Team All-American honors in the 10K as she stormed down the homestretch to take fourth-place. Werner was amongst the lead pack for the entire duration of the race and with 800-meters to go looked as if she could challenge for the title. New Mexico’s finished as the NCAA Champion running 33:10.84 while Werner crossed the line just a short while later in 33:20.68
Devin Clark advanced to the final of the 3,000-meter steeplechase running a time of 9:54.93Q to automatically advance grabbing a top-five finish in her heat. This is the second straight NCAA Steeplechase final, third-overall, for Clark who earned Second-Team All-American honors last season.
The Razorback 4×100-meter relay of Tamara Kuykendall, Payton Chadwick, Janeek Brown and Kiara Parker combined to run 42.65Q, a new school record. The semifinal featured a new combination for Arkansas as Kuykendall replaced Parker on the leadoff leg while Parker moved to anchor to replace Kethlin Campbell who usually totes the baton across the line.
Janeek Brown put together a phenomenal day Thursday afternoon at Mike. A. Myers Stadium. She got the day started with the aforementioned 4×100-meter relay, running a burner of a third leg to propel the Razorbacks to the final. She continued her day with a new NCAA-Leading time of 12.53 in the 100-meter hurdles. Her time finished as a facility record, school record and lifetime-best for the sophomore. With her final run, Brown narrowly missed the best single-day 100H/200 double in world history. The Kingston, Jamaica native needed to run 22.47 to topple Jackie Joyner-Kersee, ended up clocking a 22.51Q to advance in the event. She will compete in three events on Saturday afternoon.
Payton Chadwick, who handed the baton to Brown on the 4×100-meter relay found herself advancing in the 100-meter hurdles as well. The 2018 60-meter hurdles National Champion ran a time of 12.84 to advance on time posting the seventh-best performance in the semifinal.
A USATF finalist in the 100-meters last year, Kiara Parker can add ‘NCAA Finalist’ to her resume as the senior grabbed a spot in the final of the 100-meters that has eluded her over her career. Parker exploded out of the blocks running with the lead through the first 20-meters before settling in the pack and crossing the line in 11.14, missing her lifetime-best by one one-thousandth of a second (0.01).
The SEC Champion at 400-meters, Kethlin Campbell will compete for an opportunity at an NCAA title in the quarter-mile after finishing her semifinal in 51.95 seconds to advance to the final. Campbell’s time was the seventh-fastest in the semifinal.
Paris Peoples, Parker, Chadwick, and Campbell automatically advanced to the final of the 4×400-meters running 3:31.18 for a second-place finish in the opening heat of the semifinals. Arkansas finished with the fourth-fastest time on the night.
G’Auna Edwards took 15th-place earning Second-Team All-American honors in the long jump with a best leap of 6.18m (20-3.50).
Through five events scored, Arkansas leads the way with 15-points.