ATHENS, Ga. – With four events down and three to go, Makeba Alcide leads the heptathlon after day one of the 2011 SEC Outdoor Championships at the Spec Towns Track in Athens, Ga. The Razorback sophomore has 3,458 points with the help of personal bests in the high jump, shot put and 200 meters. Alcide takes an 80-point lead over Precious Nwokey of Kentucky into Friday’s competition.
"Today was a great start for Makeba," head coach Lance Harter said. "Not only did she finish with the lead but she continues to push and extend her lifetime bests. She is about 120 points ahead of her career-best pace so she is in a great position for tomorrow."
Alcide was in seventh place after the first event of the heptathlon. She collected 946 points after a 14.23 effort in the 100-meter hurdles. Leah Orley finished fifth in heat two and 12th overall. The Razorback sophomore had 871 points to go along with her time of 14.78 in the hurdles event.
A lifetime-best effort by Alcide in the high jump moved her into second place. She won the second event of the day with a 5-10.5 clearance (966 points), matching her performance at the indoor conference meet back in February in Fayetteville. Alcide’s previous outdoor best came earlier this season with a 5-8 effort at Texas Relays. After the high jump, she was just three points shy of first place. Orley dropped to 13th place overall after a 4-11.75 showing (644) in the high jump.
"I had a pretty good day today and I finished with a good standing," Alcide said. "There is strong competition tomorrow, so I have to be ready. I thought I was ready for today, though. My biggest challenge for tomorrow will be getting a big (long) jump."
Alcide went on to win the shot put competition, besting her nearest competitor by nearly two feet. On her final attempt of the day, she got the shot out to a mark of 39-8 and picked up 667 points in the process. Her showing in the shot put moved her into first place overall. Orley finished seventh in the shot put with a day’s best throw of 34-10.5 on her first attempt, good for 571 points.
In the final event of the day for the heptathlon, Alcide raced to a fourth-place finish in heat one and finished fifth overall with a personal-best 25.08. She maintained her lead with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters on tap for Friday. Orley closed out the day with a 26.20 effort in the 200 meters and stands in 13th place after day one.
"Leah had an off day in the high jump but came back with a good shot put and 200 meters," Harter said. "She always has a good second day so, with some strong performances tomorrow, she could be back in scoring position."
Competition for the Razorbacks on day two of the SEC championships begins at 12:30 p.m. (CT) with the conclusion of the heptathlon. In addition to the heptathlon, points will be up for grabs in the 10,000 meters. The preliminary rounds of the running events also begin Friday with the 200 meters, 800 meters and 400-meter hurdles.
For live results and interactive blog, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. In addition to meet coverage at the Razorbacks’ website, the conference meet will be streamed live at ESPN3.com Saturday from 3-5:30 p.m. (CT) and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. A tape-delay broadcast of the SEC Championships will be aired May 25 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.