WALNUT, Calif. – The No. 8 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team picked up a victory and a handful of personal bests Friday at the 53rd Mt. SAC Relays. The Razorbacks’ win came from Shelise Williams in the 400 meters while Stephanie Brown led the team’s efforts in the 1,500 meters with seven-second personal best in the event.
"That was a gigantic race (for Stephanie Brown)," head coach Lance Harter said. "There’s always that debate that eventually you have to become a 1,500-meter runner. You’re going to be a fine 800-meter runner but that race was proof in the pudding. Everyone else already knew, and now she does, too. Overall, we’ve had a great day. Everyone has either run a season best or a lifetime best. You can’t ask for more than that."
For the second time in as many years on the Mt. SAC track, Brown posted a career mark. Running in the Olympic development section of the 1,500 meters, the Razorback sophomore finished in second place and crossed in a time of 4:17.21, knocking more than seven ticks of her time run on the same track last season. Teammate Kristen Gillespie also ran below her previous best with a time of 4:22.52, good for 11th overall.
Williams clocked the fastest time of the day in the university section of the 400 meters. Running in the final heat of the day, the California native crossed in a season-best time of 52.12. Her previous best of the year of 52.20 was run at the Razorback Spring Invitational. The performance will extend her SEC lead and No. 2 national ranking in the event.
In the first event of the day, Jillian Rosen ran to a fifth-place finish in the final section of the university 1,500 meters. She clocked in with a time of 4:23.11 in the fastest section of the day, good for fifth overall. Rosen’s time is the third-fastest of her career.
Samantha Learch turned in a personal-best effort in the university section of the 800 meters. She finished seventh in her heat and 14th overall in a time of 2:09.01. Paige Johnston was Arkansas’ other competitor in the event and finished in a time of 2:10.79, good for a season-best mark for the freshman. She finished in 32nd place overall.
Friday marked the end of action for the Razorbacks at the Mt. SAC Relays, while the team’s sprint and jump crews will begin competition Saturday at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla. Arkansas’ next home meet is April 22-23 with the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville. For home meet information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.