FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 9 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team completed competition Saturday at the John McDonnell Invitational with five event wins. The Razorbacks collected wins from Tina Sutej in the pole vault, Rebecca Gorden in the javelin, Makeba Alcide in the high jump and long jump and the team’s 4×100-meter relay.
"We had breakthroughs with personal bests for Leah in the heptathlon and Jillian and Martine in the half mile," head coach Lance Harter said. "It was a long day of dodging the raindrop and lightning. It’s a matter of trying to survive the elements, protecting your athletes and making sure you don’t take any chances."
Sutej continued her outstanding 2011 campaign with a victory in the pole vault. After staying in the competition with a third-attempt clearance at her opening height, she went on to clear 14-2 for the win. Sutej has now won all 10 competitions entered this season. Teammate Megan Weller finished tied for fifth place with a jump of 12-1.5, a personal best for the freshman.
Arkansas’ 4×100-meter relay ran to a win in the day’s first running event. The team of Gwendolyn Flowers, Regina George, Ivanique Kemp and Shelise Williams led throughout and combined for a time of 45.54 on the wet track at John McDonnell Field. Later in the day, Flowers returned to the track for a second-place finish in the 100 meters (11.96).
George was third overall and the top college performer with a time of 23.63. Flowers, in her third race of the day, clocked in at 24.98, good for fifth place.
In the final individual event of the day, Natanya Luther finished with a runner-up showing in the invitational section of the 1,500 meters. Knocking more than six seconds off her previous best, Luther clocked in at 4:29.61, her second personal best in as many weeks. The Razorbacks’ other finishers in the 1,500 meters were Keri Wood (4:42.80) and Rachel Carpino (4:57.62).
Leah Orley finished second in the heptathlon with a personal-best point total of 5,090 points. Over the course of two days and seven events, Orley had a first-place finish in the 200 meters and runner-up efforts in the 100-meter hurdles, 800 meters and high jump. Her previous best heptathlon score of 5,043 points came last year at the SEC Championships in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Razorbacks occupied places two through five in the 100-meter hurdles with Ivanique Kemp leading the team’s efforts in a time of 13.55. She was followed by Brittany Hyter (13.58), Breeana Coleman (13.81) and Alcide (14.69). Kemp was the top collegiate performer in the race and the time for Coleman is a personal best.
Arkansas placed four inside the top eight of the 800 meters, led by a runner-up performance from Martine Borge who ran a personal-best time of 2:08.09. Samantha Learch finished fifth in 2:09.32, Jillian Rosen finished sixth in 2:09.83 and Paige Johnson was eighth in 2:11.06. The time for Rosen is a career best by more than a second.
In the Razorbacks’ first result of the day, Gorden won the javelin with a throw of 135-11, a personal-best mark. Her previous best of 130-6 came two weeks ago at Texas Relays; all but one of her legal throws Saturday were beyond her old mark. Alcide finished third in the event with a day’s best throw of 106-5. Alcide went on to post wins in the high jump and rain-shortened long jump.
In the 400 meters, Rachel Werner was the top Razorback performer. She crossed in a time of 55.60, good for second place. Bethany Hyter was third overall in a time of 57.46.
Arkansas returns to action April 28-30 with a trio of competitions scheduled. The Razorbacks will split between Penn Relays in Philadelphia; Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa; and the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. The team’s next home meet is May 6 with the Arkansas Twilight. For more information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: JMcD Final Results.pdf