TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Etienne Chaplin and the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team hit a hurdle on Thursday afternoon, literally, on the first day of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but a fine rebound by the junior has her in scoring position despite the setback.
Chaplin’s day started with the 100-meter hurdles and it didn’t take long for the competition to look like an uphill battle as she hit the first hurdle and went down soon after. Chaplin would get up from the fall, but a few hurdles down stepped off the track giving her no points for the heptathlon’s first event.
“Etienne hit that first hurdle hard,” Arkansas associate head coach Rolando Greene said. “After hitting the hurdle and going down, she was off her game, but we talked right after the race and I impressed upon her that she can still help the team. She responded to the setback and I am very proud of her.”
With zero points after the first event, Chaplin came back for the high hump and had a career day. Not her strongest event, Chaplin cleared 5-4 ¼ in the event, a personal best by more than an inch to score her first 771 points of the competition.
Moving to the shot put ring, Chaplin recorded the best throw of the competition at 38-5 ½ for an additional 643 points. The win allowed Chaplin to claw back into the competition and pick up nearly 200 points on seventh place.
The first day would end with the 200 meters and Chaplin was once again at her best. Running out of lane three, Chaplin quickly made up the stagger on her outside and hit the homestretch in second place where she would remain across the finish. Her time of 24.71 was a third personal best in three events and the fourth-best overall in the competition. The event gave Chaplin an additional 914 points and allowed her to pick up 150-200 points on half the field.
Chaplin’s first-day score of 2,328 was no where near a career best without the additional hurdle points, but the score was good enough to put her in eighth place overall. Friday concludes the heptathlon competition with three events, two of which are among Chaplin’s best the long jump and javelin.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.