FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas women’s track and field team completed competition at the Virginia Tech Invitational with three event titles and four NCAA qualifying marks. Regina George came away with two gold finishes in the 800 meters and as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team. Shelise Williams also picked up a pair of wins in the relay events. The 17th-ranked Razorbacks also took home first in the distance-medley relay; both relay teams clocked provisional qualifying times.
"Another really solid day of competition for us," head coach Lance Harter said. "Both relays teams picked up provisional times and wins which shows a lot of promise for the future. Tina Sutej was another highlight for us with an improved auto qualifier and personal best. Our kids are competing well and racing well. We have a lot of good momentum to start the season."
George crossed the finish line first in the 800 meters in a time of 2:09.42, just off provisional qualifying time of 2:09. In the final event of the day, George, running the anchor leg, teamed with Karen Thomas, Williams and Edina Brooks to clock a first-place time of 3:36.43. It was the second winning effort of the day for Williams.
In the distance-medley relay, Williams, Kristen Gillespie, Stephanie Brown and Samantha Learch put together a first-place performance of 11:23.61, finishing nearly 40 seconds ahead of the second-place team from Virginia.
Arkansas’ other two qualifying marks came in the field events. Tina Sutej continued her strong start to the 2010 indoor season with a second-place jump of 14-1.25 in the pole vault. The clearance is a season and personal best, improved her NCAA automatic qualifying mark and bettered the Slovenian national record she broke last week in the season opener.
Along with Sutej, the Razorbacks placed three in the top five of the pole vault. Teammates Katie Stripling and Janice Keppler rounded out Arkansas’ efforts in the event. Stripling placed third with a mark of 13-11.25, while Keppler came in fifth after clearing 13-0.25.
Shantel Thompson turned in a season-best performance with a 19-11 leap in the long jump, good enough for fifth place and an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark. Leah Orley was 26th in the event with a jump of 16-7.25.
In the 3,000-meter run, the Razorbacks placed three in the top seven, led by Megan Jackson’s fourth-place time of 9:48.18. She was followed by Miranda Walker, in fifth place at 9:54.53, and Cali George, in seventh at 10:09.83.
Thomas and Brooks finished fourth and seventh in the 400 meters, respectively. Thomas turned in a time of 55.80 while Brooks crossed the line in 56.76. In the 200 meters, Rachel Werner was 17th with a time of 25.92.
Arkansas returns to Fayetteville for next weekend’s Razorback Invitational. The two-day event, beginning Friday, Jan. 22, will be held at the Randal Tyson Track Center. For continued coverage of Razorback track and field, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.