NORMAN, Okla. – Sophomore Tominque Boatright and junior Carly Bloomfield led the University of Arkansas track team at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla., this weekend when they recorded the second and fifth best efforts in Arkansas history in the 400 meters and javelin, respectively.
An indoor track all-American this winter, Boatright is a star in the making and continues to prove that week after week. After taking Arkansas’ first ever all-America honor in the 400 meters during the indoor season, she wasted no time in qualifying for the NCAA Regional Championships when she ran a qualifier in the 200 meters at the Collegiate Classic. Taking the track for her first open 400 at the John Jacobs, she left little doubt that she could continue to run at her torrid pace as she clocked 53.56, nearly eclipsing the oldest record in the Arkansas books and racing past her own personal best in the event.
With the second time in school history, Boatright is now chasing the 23-year-old record of former Lady’Back Lisa Sparks who ran 53.45 in Lincoln, Neb., during the 1983 track season.
“Tominque is a special individual,” Arkansas associate head coach Rolando Greene said. “She continues to get better in the 400 meters and is certainly becoming one of the elite runners in the country. She made the crowd at the Texas Relays take notice a couple of times when she ran and that was against top notch competition. If she stays healthy this spring there is no telling where we can go.”
The javelin runway saw Bloomfield make her mark in the UA record books when she threw her implement 145 feet. Since the NCAA changed the weight of the javelin at the turn of the century, only former Lady’Back Jessica Sommerfeld had recorded marks in the top five of Arkansas history, but with her throw, Bloomfield has established herself as one of the best Arkansas has had.
Boatright and Bloomfield’s marks were not only Arkansas milestones, but also NCAA regional qualifiers, two of seven that Lady Razorback athletes posted at the competition. Junior Sasha Rolle put together another impressive race in the 400 meters when she ran 53.98, a time that would have cracked into Arkansas’ top five had Boatright not raised the bar with her performance. In the 100 hurdles, Tiavannia Thompson improved on her regional mark when she ran 13.63 under a legal wind reading of 1.7 meters-per-second and Arkansas’ pole vaulters looked strong again with Jodi Unger clearing a career best outdoors of 13-5 ¼ and Stephanie Irwin matching her season best at 12-11 ½.
Another outstanding performance came from junior Lakeisha Martin in the long jump. Jumping sparingly as a sophomore, Martin has come out ready to compete as a junior and popped one of a handful of 20-foot-plus jumps in Arkansas history. Soaring to 20-0 ½, Martin won the competition going away and now has her sights set at the Arkansas record of 20-10 set by Toshei Woods in 1993.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action next weekend when they travel to the TCU Invitational. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.