AUSTIN, Texas – Senior Brandy Blackwood was up to her old tricks on Thursday afternoon on the second day of the 79th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays when she qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship in the hammer throw with a season best of 188 feet, four inches.
Well past the regional standard, Blackwood nearly cracked into the top five marks in Arkansas history, of which she holds all five, with the toss.
“That was great,” Arkansas assistant coach Bryan Compton said. “She was five feet off her personal best and without an indoor season to prepare, she threw very well. This is a breakthrough for us and we are just now getting into meet shape and into a rhythm.”
Blackwood has shown considerable improvement over the past three weeks as she readjusts herself to the hammer throw circle after nearly a year off from competition. Completing her indoor eligibility at the end of the 2005 season, Blackwood’s last event prior to the beginning of the 2006 season was at the NCAA Championships in mid-June.
Improving on each of her first three throws of the competition, Blackwood easily made the finals. Her prelim toss of 187-10 would have finished sixth overall, but her second throw in the finals of 188-4 eclipsed her prelims best and placed even more distance between herself and the remainder of the field.
In a competition that was full of regional qualifiers, 14 to be exact, Blackwood reestablished herself as one of the premier throwers in the nation.
The Lady Razorbacks continue action at the Texas Relays on Friday with the sprints, relays and several field events. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.