LEXINGTON, Ky. –
Put into the lead position by a 1-2-3 finish at 5,000 meters, the No. 8 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team won the 2014 SEC Outdoor Championship Sunday afternoon in Lexington, Ky. The Razorbacks scored 123 points during the four-day meet to win the program’s fourth SEC outdoor title and first since the 2004 season. The win is Arkansas’ second conference title of the season having won the cross country meet in November.
In the penultimate event of the meet, junior Diane Robison
crossed in first place to win and SEC title at 5,000 meters and was followed in order by teammates Dominique Scott
and Grace Heymsfield
, respectively. Robison’s winning time of 15:47.25 sets a new SEC championship meet record. Scott clocked in at 15:53.74, followed by Heymsfield at 15:55.30.
“We figured out if we went 1-2-3 in the 5k, no matter what Florida did, that we would win - that was a valuable piece of information,” said Head Coach Lance Harter
. “I went to the athletes and told them, if we can score 24 points, we have a shot. Heymsfield came barreling from behind to secure that third spot, Scott took care of business as usual and Robison pulled off the upset to win.”
The Razorbacks picked up 24 points in the event to go ahead on the scoreboard entering the 4x400-meter relay.
“We kept it exciting,” said Harter. “Between Florida, Kentucky, Texas A&M and ourselves, it was battles through thick and thin in every event. We knew it would come down to the 5k and 4x400, we precluded that was going to happen anyway.”
The relay team of Daina Harper
, Regine Williams
, Talyor Ellis - Watson and Chrishuna Williams
earned a third-place finish in a tough field with a time of 3:29.58, clinching the SEC team title.
“We have been so close, so many times, and winning it was very special,” said Harter of the first SEC outdoor title in a decade. “It was nice to have the boss, Jeff Long there. He brought his entire staff out here. That makes us coaches feel really good about what we’re doing and how see much we’re appreciated.”
Earlier in the day, C. Williams and Ellis – Watson earned eight points for the Razorbacks with a fourth and sixth-place finish in the 400-meter, respectively. C. Williams clocked a 52.44, while EIlis-Watson crossed the finish line in 52.56. Stephanie Brown
and Paige Johnston
scored in the 800-meter to add to Arkansas’ winning point total. Brown’s time of 4:17.35 earned her a fifth-place finish, followed by Johnston in seventh place with a time of 4:18.73.
was the first Razorback to score on the day, finishing seventh in triple jump at 42-5.25.
The Razorbacks continue their postseason schedule May 29-31 when they host the 2014 NCAA West Preliminary at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville. Full recap and results to follow.
For more information on Arkansas track and field, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.
Final Team Standings
1. Arkansas – 123 pts.
2. Florida – 116.5 pts.
3. Texas A&M – 113 pts.
4. Kentucky – 104 pts.
5. Georgia – 70.5 pts.
6. LSU – 65.5 pts.
7. Missouri – 62
8. Alabama – 36
9. Auburn – 30
10. Tennessee – 28
11. Mississippi State – 26
12. South Carolina – 25.5
13. Vanderbilt – 15
14. Mississippi - 4
4. Chrishuna Williams
6. Taylor Ellis – Watson – 52.56
9. Stephanie Brown
5. Stephanie Brown
7. Paige Johnston
12. Keri McClary
1. Diane Robison
2. Dominique Scott
3. Grace Heymsfield
9. Jessica Kamilos
14. Samantha Mohler
15. Sandie Raines
17. Kaitlin Flattmann
9. Boakye/R. Williams/C. Williams/Harper – 45.32
3. Boakye/Ellis-Watson/R. Williams/C. Williams – 3:29.58
7. Tamara Myers