FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 9 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team concluded competition at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday with a victory in the 4×400-meter relay. The competition in Palo Alto, Calif., marked the opening weekend of the 2011 outdoor season.
"Overall, we had a very good weekend," head coach Lance Harter said. "I think our distance crew exceeded expectations and our sprint crew, after a strenuous indoor season, really transitioned well to being outdoors. Now, we’ll fine tune some things at home next weekend and get ramped up for Texas Relays in two weeks."
Arkansas picked up a win in its last event of the day, the 4×400-meter relay. The winning time of 3:39.07 belonged to the quartet of Whitney Jones, Shelise Williams, Gwendolyn Flowers and Regina George. The ‘B’ crew finished sixth with a time of 3:48.25 and the ‘C’ team crossed in a time of 3:54.18. In their first result of the day, the Razorbacks picked up a third-place finish in the 4×100-meter relay. Running in section one, the same foursome from the mile relay combined for a time 45.36.
George led a group of four Arkansas sprinters in the 200 meters. Running in the fastest section of the day, George crossed in a time of 23.86 and finished second overall. She was the top collegiate performer in the race. Flowers added a second top-10 result for the team with a time of 24.36, good for 10th place overall. Breeana Coleman and Rachel Werner posted times of 25.29 and 25.63, respectively.
The Razorbacks had three runners in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles. Ivanique Kemp turned in the top finish for the team with a time of 13.63, good for a fifth-place finish. Coleman returned from her effort in the 200 meters to clock a time of 13.93 and a seventh-place finish. Brittany Hyter followed with an eighth-place showing in a time of 13.96.
Samantha Learch was the team’s top performer in the 800 meters, leading a pack of three Razorbacks in the top 25 of the event. Learch finished in a time of 2:09.24, good for sixth place in her section and 11th overall. In winning the fifth heat, Martine Borge clocked a time of 2:10.56 and finished 17th overall. Paige Johnston rounded out Arkansas’ efforts with a time of 2:11.56. The times for Learch and Borge are respective personal bests.
In the only field event of the day for Arkansas, Shantel Thompson had a sixth-place finish in the invitational section of the triple jump. On her final attempt of the day, the senior Razorback got out to a day’s best mark of 39-5.75.
Arkansas will return to its home facility next weekend for the Razorback Spring Invitational. The meet will be held April 2 at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville with a start time of 1 p.m. (CT) for field events and 3 p.m. for the running events. For more home meet information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.