GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior Etienne Chaplin and sophomore Catherine White won individual titles for the Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field team on day two of the SEC Outdoor Championships, in Gainesville, Fla. on Friday.
Arkansas leads the team race with 31 points after two days of competition and three events scored. Alabama sits in second with 18 points and Florida rounds out the top three with 15 points.
"Etienne (Chaplin) had a fantastic effort," head coach Lance Harter said. "She battled the elements, rain and humidity, while battling the seven events she faced. She did sacrifice some points in the high jump and the shot put so she still has room to improve. She laid it on the line in the 800 meters and got the win."
"Catherine (White) and Denise (Bargiachi) knew they were coming in as favorites so we had an opportunity to guide the race at the pace we wanted to go," Harter said. "I think this race gives them confidence and gets them ready for the NCAA meet."
The Razorbacks picked up 21 points for their total with a 1-2-6 finish in the 10,000 meters. White led the way with a race win and her second All-SEC honor. She clocked a time of 35:07.50 to win her second SEC individual title and her first in outdoor track. White becomes the eighth Razorback to win the SEC 10,000 meters since 1992 and is the first since Penny Splichal won the event in 2003.
"Running with the pack definitely helped tonight, especially with the weather being a factor," White said. "I just wanted to come out here and get the win. I wanted to run strong but be able to come back out here again on Sunday for the 5K. Because I already have a solid 10K time for NCAAs, tonight was about the win and the points, not the time. We were trying to pull each other through and get as many scorers as possible."
Senior Denise Bargiachi earned a runner-up finish behind White. She clocked a time of 35:13.64 to nab her third All-SEC honor. Senior Christine Kalmer, competing in her first collegiate 10K, rounded out the Razorback scorers with a sixth-place finish and a time of 36:00.62.
Senior Etienne Chaplin won her second career SEC title and her first in the outdoor heptathlon on Friday. She scored a career-best point total of 5,594 points. With her point total, she is now automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships and has the "A" standard for the USA Championships in June. Her point total currently ranks seventh in the NCAA.
"Like Coach (Rolando) Greene said, it was all about putting it all together," Chaplin said. "I’m happy to say I put it all together today. I had some good throws today and I worked my way back into it with a good 800 meters. I’m happy about this heptathlon. I got the mark I need for NCAAs. This title is a great feeling. I’ve been working really hard and it’s paying off."
Chaplin also picked up her third All-SEC honor and scored points at the SEC Championships, indoors and out, for the fourth time in her career. She closed out the heptathlon with a win in the long jump and a mark of 19-5.25 to earn 825 points. She marked a toss of 124-5 in the javelin. Finishing second in the group, she added 627 points to her total and moved to second overall. She sealed the win with a third-place finish in the 800 meters and a time of 2:21.76.
Chaplin becomes the fourth Razorback to win the SEC heptathlon since 1992 and is the first since Gi-Gi Miller won the event in 2001.
In Friday’s prelims, freshman Whitney Jones finished 12th in the 200 meters with a personal-best time of 24.07. Freshman Brittany Hyter was the first runner left out of the 400-meter hurdles prelims. She clocked a personal-best time of 1:01.42 to finish 10th. Senior Lauren Lewis finished 12th in the 800-meter prelims with a time of 2:10.41.
Junior Angie Scott finished 18th in the hammer throw. Her best toss of the day measured 144-10. Junior Ashley Williams finished 15th in the 10,000 meters with a time of 38:12.05.
The SEC Outdoor Championships will continue Saturday with Chaplin and Jones in the long jump at 3 p.m. CST. For more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or GatorZone.com.
Catherine White, 10,000 meters, 1st, 35:07.50
Denise Bargiachi, 10,000 meters, 2nd, 35:13.64
Christine Kalmer, 10,000 meters, 6th, 36:00.62
Etienne Chaplin, Heptathlon, 1st, 5,594 points