FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2021 – COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT: Shawn Price
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
Online Version: https://bit.ly/3sj45RT
AUSTIN, Texas – Opening the outdoor season at the Texas Relays this weekend, the first day included a stellar start in the heptathlon along with impressive qualifying times by the Razorbacks in the 400m.
Current Razorback G’Auna Edwards and Arkansas alum Taliyah Brooks, both competing in a heptathlon for the first time since 2018, each had a productive opening day as they set career best first day scores. Brooks leads the heptathlon with 3,767 points while Edwards is the top collegian, and second overall, at 3,404.
Qualifying races for the 200m and 400m involved seven Razorbacks. Advancing to Saturday finals in the 400m were Shafiqua Maloney, Paris Peoples and Morgan Burks-Magee.
Brooks’ history in the Texas Relays heptathlon includes a pair of titles in 2016 (5,991) and 2018 (5,946) while producing a then career best of 6,075 as runner-up in 2017 before improving to 6,099 that same season when she won the SEC title.
In the 100m hurdles, Brooks ran in the only heat assisted by a wind over 2 meters per second as she clocked a leading time of 12.95 seconds (2.5 wind) for 1,132 points. Her previous best time in a heptathlon was 13.14 while her career best is 12.86 along with a windy 12.82.
Edwards ran 13.67 as the top collegian in the field of 15 and was second overall in generating 1,026 points. The previous best for Edwards in the heptathlon was 14.07 while her career best is a 13.35.
In the high jump, Edwards established an outdoor best of 5-8 (1.73) for 891 points while Brooks equaled her outdoor best of 5-11 ½ (1.82) for 1,003 points.
The shot put added 658 points for Brooks, who was just an inch and a half off her PR with a toss of 39-2 ½ (11.95) while Edwards collected 572 points with an outdoor best of 34-11 ¼ (10.65).
Brooks (24.07) and Edwards (24.69) clocked the fastest pair of times in the 200m to wrap up the first day of the multi. Each ran into a headwind in adding 974 and 915 points, respectively, to their leading scores.
Arkansas qualified three Razorbacks in the 400m from three prelim victories. Maloney, racing in the seventh and final prelim, won in a career best time of 52.27, which ranks her No. 8 on the UA all-time list. Her previous outdoor best was 53.19.
Peoples followed as the second fastest qualifier with her prelim winning time of 52.53, an outdoor best that ranks No. 11 on the UA all-time list. Burks-Magee won her heat in 53.53 and ranked sixth overall of the nine advancing to the final.
Among nine heats in the 200m, times for Arkansas included an outdoor best of 23.58 for Tiana Wilson, which ranked 12th among the 66 athletes who competed in the event. Kethlin Campbell ran 23.64, which ranked 13th, while Jayla Hollis had a windy 23.71 (2.1 wind) that ranked 15th and Jada Baylark posted a 23.98 into a -1.1 wind to rank 21st.
The heptathlon continues at 10:30 a.m. on Friday while qualifying races take place in the 100m hurdles and 100m around 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Pole vault competition for the Razorbacks starts at 4 p.m.