DES MOINES, Iowa – Through the first four events of the heptathlon, Makeba Alcide is in seventh place at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. She is in scoring position with three events to go Friday. In addition to Alcide’s showing, the No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team picked up a qualifier for the finals with its 4×400-meter relay.
After day one of the heptathlon, Alcide is in scoring range with her current position of seventh place with 2,535 points. She wrapped up her day with a pair of personal-best performances in the final two events. She had a pair of throws of 12.69m/41-7.75 in the shot put and closed out the day with a time of 24.65 at 200 meters. Her previous best in the shot put came earlier this season, also in Des Moines at the Drake Relays. Alcide’s time in the 200 meters is her first-career effort under 25 seconds.
Friday’s events in the heptathlon will be the long jump, javelin and 800 meters. This is the second appearance at the NCAA Championships for Alcide. Last season as a sophomore, she finished in 14th place with 5,245 points.
In the team’s final qualifying opportunity of the day, the 4×400-meter relay team of Whitney Jones, Gwendolyn Flowers, Chrishuna Williams and Regina George posted a season-best time of 3:29.54 to finish second in its heat and fourth overall. Arkansas’ time is the third-fastest performance in school history. Flowers, George and Jones were part of last year’s team with Shelise Williams that set the school record of 3:28.63.
"As the lead leg, my job was to get the team in the lead," Jones said. "I wanted to get out front for the rest of the legs. We did our job in getting the baton to Regina with the lead. When she got it, I knew we were in good hands because Regina is a great 400-meter runner."
Arkansas had a close call in the 100-meter hurdles with Ivanique Kemp finishing 13th in the semifinal round and just .08 seconds off the last qualifying spot. The Razorback junior ran to a personal-best time of 13.13 to finish fourth in her heat. Kemp replaced her previous wind-aided best of 13.20 which she had run on four other occasions. She also improved upon the national record for her native Bahamas, a mark she already owned.
"This time means a lot to me," Kemp said. "It means a new PR, a new record for my country and an Olympic ‘B’ standard. It feels good to know that I ran that fast with things I know I can improve. Overall, it was a good race but I needed to be clean at the end. It wasn’t as clean for me as I wanted."
Friday’s schedule for the Razorbacks includes the conclusion of the heptathlon and the event final for the 400 meters. The heptathlon will resume at 3 p.m. (CT) while George will line up to race for the 400-meter national title at 7:02 p.m. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Thursday Results200m (semifinal)24. Tiffany Hines – 24.24
1,500m (semifinal)–. Kristen Gillespie – DNF
100m Hurdles (semifinal)13. Ivanique Kemp – 13.13 (PR)20. Brittany Hyter – 13.39
4x400m (semifinal)4. Jones/Flowers/Williams/George – 3:29.54Q
Heptathlon (day one)7. Makeba Alcide – 2,535 points 21. 100mH – 14.21 (949 points) 5. High jump – 1.72m/5-7.75 (879 points) 5. Shot put – 12.69m/41-7.75 (PR) (707 points) 11. 200m – 24.65 (PR) (919 points)
Q – qualified for event finals