UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Another day of spectacular performances led Arkansas’ women’s indoor track and field team to a dominant victory in the Razorback Invitational this weekend at the Randal Tyson Track Center. A world-leading effort was generated in the 4×400 relay while collegiate-leading marks were established in the 400m and mile.
Arkansas produced its third team win of the season, totaling 133 points to thwart the challenge from Georgia (93) and Oregon (92). USC (70) placed fourth while the rest of the field included Mississippi State (35), Colorado (27), Ole Miss (27), and Iowa State (10).
“The team win is just kind of extra credit,” noted women’s head coach Lance Harter. “We don’t try to do any of the line-ups that we potential can. What’s really exciting is that we had some great breakthroughs individually.”
Closing out the meet with the 4×400 relay, the Razorbacks foursome of Morgan Burks-Magee (53.31), Paris Peoples (53.40), Shafiqua Maloney (51.70), and Rosey Effiong (52.39) generated a winning time of 3:30.80, the No. 10 time on the Arkansas all-time list.
Entering the day with a world-leading 3:32.18 from last week, the Razorbacks also topped a 3:31.09 performance set in Lubbock earlier on Saturday by Texas A&M. Arkansas just missed the meet record of 3:30.66 set in 2017 by USC.
“Probably the most exciting of the events, basically by ourselves, was to run 3:30 for the national lead in the mile relay,” stated Harter. “Our B team even ran 3:37, which shows the depth coach Chris Johnson has established and the front running we’re capable of.”
A second crew of Hogs hit a time of 3:37.01 as runner-up from a quartet of Tiana Wilson (53.36), Jada Baylark (54.63), Kethlin Campbell (55.48) and Jayla Hollis (53.54).
After rolling in the 5,000m on Friday evening, the Razorbacks locked into racing the mile on Saturday. The result was a victory for Lauren Gregory in 4:35.69, the collegiate leader and third fastest time in world for the 2021 indoor season. Gregory splits included 1:10.03, 2:20.98, and 3:29.03 as she closed in 66.67 over the final two laps and 32.72 on the final circuit.
Izzo, the 5k winner the previous night, placed second in 4:37.07 while Logan Morris finished third in 4:41.25 as Isabel Van Camp followed in fifth place at 4:54.04. Josie Carson set a career best of 5:00.72 in ninth place while McKenzie Wilks clocked 5:01.58 in 10th.
“Today, we started out with the mile where our top three 5,000m runners came back to do a little bit of speed work,” said Harter. “The pace was not what we had hoped for early on, but what was really exciting, and a vote of confidence, is Lauren, Katie and Logan all were able to close really, really well. They established themselves on the national list in the mile.”
Peoples claimed her section of the 400m in a career best of 52.48, moving to No. 6 on the Razorback all-time list, and established the collegiate leading time for this season. In bettering her previous best of 53.03, Peoples moved to No. 5 on the 2021 world list.
USC’s Nicole Yeargin finished second to Peoples in the section, and overall, with a 52.51. The final 400m section had USC’s tandem of Jan’Taijah Ford and Bailey Lear clocking times of 52.89 and 52.95 to finish third and fourth overall.
A trio of Razorbacks followed in places 4-5-6 as Shafiqua Maloney posted a career best of 53.09 while Tiana Wilson ran 53.20 and Kethlin Campbell produced a 55.64 in her first race since the 2019 NCAA Outdoor meet.
Runner-up finishes for Arkansas on the day included Krissy Gear in the 3,000m, Kennedy Thomson in the 800m and Bailee McCorkle in the pole vault.
Gear moved to No. 8 on the Razorback all-time list with a 9:08.55 career best, finishing behind a 9:03.29 from Georgia’s Jessica Drop, who bettered the 2015 meet record of 9:04.93 set by Stanford’s Jessica Tonn.
Thomson also moved to No. 8 on the Arkansas all-time list in the 800m with her 2:05.62 while teammate Quinn Owen followed in third place at 2:06.40, the No. 11 performance in Razorback history. Colorado’s Sage Hurta won the race with PR of 2:02.54, just off the meet record of 2:02.30 set by Jazmine Fray of Texas A&M in 2018.
McCorkle cleared 14-1.25 (4.30) as runner-up in the vault while Nastassja Campbell tied for fourth at 13-1.5 (4.00). Kaitlyn Banas matched that height in finishing sixth. Georgia’s Kayla Smith topped the field of 16 with a 14-3.25 (4.35) clearance.
Yoveinny Mota moved to equal the No. 9 position on the Arkansas all-time list with an 8.29 that placed her fourth in the 60m hurdles with Daszay Freeman fifth at 8.31. Georgia’s Imani Carothers posted a collegiate leading 8.06 for the victory.