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Heymsfield Breaks School Record at Payton Invitational

05/05/2014
Athletic Communications
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PALO ALTO, Calif.  – The No. 9 Razorbacks had a successful weekend at the prestigious Payton Jordan Invitational, bringing home a school record and two personal-best times against some of the top competition in the world. Grace Heymsfield highlighted the meet as she broke the school record, which she owned, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in California on Sunday. It marked her first steeplechase event of the season and only her third meet overall.

Heymsfield originally broke the school steeplechase record last season with a 9:57.18 finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Sunday at the Payton Jordan Invitational, the senior shaved nearly four seconds off of her previous record with a runner-up finish in 9:53.65. Heymsfield stands as the only Razorback to ever break the 10-minute mark in the steeplechase.

“We’re elated at Heymsfield’s performance,” said Head Coach Lance Harter. “Anytime you can break 10 minutes in a steeplechase, you are breaking a special barrier. Now that she has done it twice, and to open the year with that performance, it really tells us she’s going to be one that everyone is going to keep an eye out for. It’s a real tribute to all she has done through the indoor season and now carried to outdoor.”

Two additional PRs highlighted the Payton Jordan Invitational, with Dominique Scott and Diane Robison running a personal best in their respective races. Scott tabbed personal-best finish in the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:14.33, crossing the line as the top-collegiate finisher in a field of professional athletes. Scott’s time is good for the second-fastest time in the SEC behind fellow teammate Stephanie Brown and ranks No. 3 in the nation. Robison finished the 5,000-meter in a personal-best time of 15:47.62, breaking the 16-minute mark for the first time and taking down her pervious PR of 16:01.94 set at last year’s Payton Jordan Invite.

“Scott and Robison both had huge PRs this weekend and I’m very proud of them,” said Harter. “Each race continues to display Scott’s speed. We knew she was strong, but she’s proving her speed now.”

Sandie Raines finished the 5,000-meter in 16:56.28, her outdoor career debut in the event. Keri McClary earned a top-five finish in the 1,500-meter, crossing the finish line in 4:23.28. Paige Johnston also ran the 1,500-meter, finishing with a time of 4:25.13.

“All in all we had a fantastic weekend,” stated Harter. “Now we’re off for a week before heading to SEC Championships. We’re excited to be approaching the championship season with our top flight distance runners. They’re going to be the freshest they’ve ever been and ready to compete.”

The SEC Championships will take place May 15-18 in Lexington, Ky. For more information on Razorback Track and Field, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.


Payton Jordan Invitational Results


1,500-Meter
12. Stephanie Brown – 4:17.55

1,500-Meter (Section 2)
2. Dominique Scott – 4:14.33 (PR – prev. 4:19.72)

1,500-Meter (Section 4)
7. Paige Johnston – 4:25.13

1,500-Meter (Section 5)
5. Keri McClary – 4:23.28

5,000-Meter (Section 2)
6. Diane Robison – 15:47.62 (PR – prev. 16:01.94)

5,000-Meter (Section 3)

25. Sandie Raines – 16:56.28

3,000-Meter Steeplechase (Section 2)
2. Grace Heymsfield – 9:53.65 (SR – prev. 9:57.18; PR – prev. 9:57.18)

3,000-Meter Steeplechase (Section 3)
14. Regan Ward – 10:46.55


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