GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior Etienne Chaplin sits in fourth place with 3,342 points after day one of the heptathlon for No. 22 Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field at the SEC Outdoor Championships. Chaplin will wrap up the two-day event Friday with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters.
"I think the rain delay took everyone out of their rhythm," associate head coach Rolando Greene said. "All of the competitors in the heptathlon were having a great high jump competition, not just Etienne. She had a great first two events. She had a PR in the hurdles and matched her best in the high jump. We fell down a little bit in the shot put but she came back to run a strong 200 meters. She had a really strong to finish to what was a pretty good day for her. Tomorrow is a very strong day for her. She’s still on 5,700-point pace. I’m very pleased with the way she performed today and I am confident she’ll put it all together tomorrow."
Chaplin opened the day with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. She clocked a personal-best time of 13.77 to pick up 1,011 points. In the high jump, Chaplin found her rhythm early and cleared the first five bars all on first attempts. She had her first miss of the day on her first attempt at 5-5.25 but cleared it easily on her second attempt.
Mother Nature took over during the high jump as a severe rain storm and lightning consumed the Gainesville area. After a two and a half hour rain delay, Chaplin opted to pass on the rest of her attempts in the high jump as rain continued to fall and wet conditions caused a threat on the high jump surface. Chaplin finished tied for second overall with her height of 5-5.25. Matching her personal best in the event, she scored 806 points and moved to fourth in the overall standings.
Normally a strong event for Chaplin, she struggled slightly in the shot put. She finished fifth overall with her toss of 36-1.5. She scored 596 points and fell to sixth in the overall standings.
In the final event on the first day of competition, Chaplin finished strong with a solid 200 meters. She clocked a time of 24.55, just of her PR of 24.47, to finish third overall. She scored 929 points and moved back up to fourth place.
"Today was a really good start," Chaplin said. "When I have a good start like I did today, usually I am able to carry it over. It just wasn’t my day in the shot put and it’s unfortunate because I know I have the ability to throw well. The shot put motivated me and put me on the edge for the 200 meters. Tomorrow is about executing for me. I have to put it all together tomorrow."
The SEC Outdoor Championships will continue Friday with the conclusion of the heptathlon at 12:30 p.m. CST. For more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or GatorZone.com.