FAYETTEVILLE – Sophomores Dacia Barr and Tominque Boatright each had splendid final days at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track Championships on Sunday, leading the University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks to a seventh-place team finish at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.
Barr finished second in the 1,500-meter run and fourth in her first collegiate 5,000 to tally 13 points while Boatright eclipsed her teammate Jessica Cousins’ 400-meter school record when she clocked 53.10 in the finals of the race to take sixth place.
“You can’t complain about the performances that we got today,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “Most of our team is freshmen and sophomores and they fought in every race. When you look at the points that we scored today, Dacia, Tominque and Paige (Farrell) and Jessica Cousins are sophomores and Kelly Vrshek is a freshman. Only one junior scored today and that was Carly Bloomfield so the nucleus is set up to do great things in the future.”
In the 1,500, Barr started in lane one and took an early lead. She would run shoulder-to-shoulder with Tennessee’s Sarah Bowman for most of the three-plus lap race, but would drop to third with 600-meters to go. Bouncing back, Barr didn’t let 100 meters go by before she was back up with Bowman in the front of the pack. With 200-meters to go, Bowman held a two-stride lead which Barr attempted to counter, but as Barr approached, Bowman went into another gear and held off the surging Lady Razorbacks. Barr would finish the race in 4:22.57.
Boatright’s race was just as tough as she also ran out of lane one, but in the one-lap 400-meter run. Forced to stay in her lane all the way around the track, Boatright got off to a quick start and quickly made up the stagger on lane two. Streaking down the backstretch, Boatright appeared to be close to the leaders as she hit the final turns. Going into the final straight, Boatright continued to push herself and crossed the finish in 53.10, 0.18 seconds faster than her teammate Jessica Cousins’ previous record of 53.28. Cousins, running out of lane nine, would finish in 54.58, but left the track with help after sustaining a hamstring injury during the race.
In a rough race, literally, Paige Farrell come into the finals of the 800-meter run with the second-fastest prelim time, but was tripped up three times forcing her to break stride at crucial moments. Among the leaders throughout the race despite the setbacks, Farrell’s final stumble was a deal breaker as she dropped back four places from second to fifth and was unable to recover from the mix up as she finished the race fifth overall in 2:08.23.
Rounding out the Lady Razorback scoring were Bloomfield in the javelin, the Lady’Back 4×100-meter relay of Lakeisha Martin, Boatright, Sasha Rolle and Cousins, Tiavannia Thompson in the 100-meter hurdles Vrshek in the 5,000 meters.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action in two weeks when they travel to the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.