FAYETTEVILLE – Led by senior Aneita Denton’s record-setting 800-meter run, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field team was well represented in the professional portion of the Powered by Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville on Friday night.
Denton took on a world-class field in the 800-meter run and clocked a time of 2:03.91 to break the oldest Lady Razorback indoor record by more than half a second. The old mark was set by former Lady Razorback and 2004 United States Olympian Nicole Teter in the winter of 1992.
“What a race,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “She was racing against some of the best runners in the world and held her own. I really believe that she can go even faster. Overall we had a great day. Aneita got the nation’s fastest time in the 800, the 4×400 relay qualified for nationals and Erica (Sigmont) and Kasia (Williams) ran very well. This looks good heading into tomorrow’s competition.”
The women’s 800-meter run was not without its hiccups as the race was called back after its initial start because of a pile up in the opening turn. Despite the setback, Denton took the race out strong after the re-start and stayed in the top three for most of the eight-lap race. As the field thinned, Denton remained with the leaders and was only just nipped at the finish line by Nike’s Kameisha Bennett to finish fourth overall. Denton’s time is the fastest in the nation this season among collegiate runners.
Senior Erica Sigmont opened the competition with the women’s mile where she ran a very good time of 4:49.67. Just off Sigmont’s season best from a week ago, she was off with the gun as she took to the front three in the competition. On the shoulder of Nike’s Treniere Clement and Nebraska’s Ann Shadle, the trio broke away from the field mid-way through the race. As the intensity picked up Sigmont fell behind slightly around 1,200 meters but a strong finish kept her solidly in third place.
The final Lady Razorback individual to race on Friday evening was senior Kasia Williams who had to face what could be most of the NCAA field and top notch professional talent in the 60-meter hurdles. Running out of lane eight, Williams clocked 8.37 seconds to finish seventh.
The Lady Razorbacks last set of runners came in the form of Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay. Using three freshmen and Denton, Arkansas led off with Springdale, Ark., native Paige Farrell who came out of the blocks with a split of 54.5 for her 400 meters. Handing off to Fayetteville, Ark., native Sydney Scarbrough Arkansas set off with one of its best races this season. Denton took the third leg of the race and clocked Arkansas’ fastest split of the race at 53.1 before giving the baton to freshman Tominque Boatright who ran 53.6 to allow Arkansas to finish in a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:39.51.
The Lady Razorbacks conclude action at the Tyson Invitational on Saturday with a marathon schedule beginning at 9:00 a.m. and running throughout the day. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, visit www.ladybacks.com.