by Shawn Price
PHILADELPHIA – Arkansas returns to the Penn Relay Carnival this weekend with a crew of distance runners, while sprinters and jumpers head south for the LSU Invitational.
At the 126th running of the Penn Relays, the Razorbacks will compete in the 4 x 1,500m relay along with individual races covering 1,500m and 5,000m. Coverage of the meet will be available through pay service Flotrack.com (https://flosports.link/3gtxIfw) while live results are available at www.pennrelaysonline.com.
“They have new leadership at the Penn Relays organization and new direction,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “They were very aggressive in recruiting our men and women to come back and partake at the infamous Penn Relays.
“In our situation we are going with a much slimmer crew than the men. Our sprint cadre and jumpers will be at LSU.”
The LSU Invitational will include the following teams: Alabama, Alcorn State, Baylor, Florida, LSU, Meridian CC, New Orleans, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Texas. Live results will be available here: https://live.deltatiming.com/meets/13608.
At the Penn Relays, Arkansas will race in individual events on Thursday with the 1,500m (6:15 p.m.) including Isabel Van Camp, Kennedy Thomson, Sydney Thorvaldson, and Carmie Prinsloo, while the 5,000m (7:50 p.m.) has Adeotte Vaughan and London Culbreath racing.
A featured event on Saturday is the Championship of America race in the 4 x 1,500m relay. The Razorbacks will be among 16 teams in the event, which also includes Villanova, NC State, Ole Miss, BYU, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
The collegiate and meet record of 17:08.34 was set in 2009 by Tennessee, which included a 4:10.2 anchor leg by Sarah Bowman, following the first three legs of Chanelle Price (4:19.5), Phoebe Wright (4:19.0), and Rolanda Bell (4:19.6).
“On the distance side, we’re going to load the 4 x 1,500,” stated Harter. “That’s a collegiate record that is prime to be broken. We have the capability of doing that along with either BYU or NC State. It will be a great showdown and wouldn’t be unrealistic for all three schools to break the collegiate record.”
Using splits of the expected line-ups for the top three teams produces a tight contest among the possible final times of 16:58.00 (Arkansas), 16:58.64 (BYU), and 17:00.22 (NC State).
Each of those teams has a potential 4:12 or faster anchor leg in Razorback Lauren Gregory (4:12.47, indoor mile conversion), 4:12.81 for BYU’s Courtney Wayment, and 4:12.58 for NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy. The Razorback line-up also includes Van Camp (4:16.48), Logan Jolly (4:14.87, indoor mile conversion), and Krissy Gear (4:14.18).
“It’s always nice to go back and have a change of pace,” said Harter. “These kids haven’t been there. They’re super excited about the possibility of there being 30,000 to 40,000 people cheering for all the athletes. That happens very rarely in U.S. competition.
“So, we’re looking forward to a great crowd and the weather is going to be very collaborative. It will be an experience that will be in these kid’s memories for life.”
The Razorback crew competing at LSU on Saturday includes sprinters and hurdlers doubling up in events while also contesting the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.
Jada Baylark and Joanne Reid will race in the 100m and 200m, Jayla Hollis and Yoveinny Mota are entered in the 100m hurdles and 200m, Rosey Effiong will contest the 200m and 400m, while Britton Wilson is scheduled to race in the 400m and 400m hurdles.
Also entered in the 400m for Arkansas are Morgan Burks-Magee, Ashanti Denton, and Paris Peoples while Quinn Owen competes in the 800m.
Field events will have a group of five pole vaulters – Amanda Fassold, Mackenzie Hayward, Bailee McCorkle, Elien Vekemans, and Kaitlyn Banas – along with Sydney Billington in the high jump, Georgia Bain in the long jump, and Alexis Torns in the triple jump.