LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kristen Gillespie ran to her second title of the weekend and the No. 4 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team finished in third place Sunday at the 2012 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky. The Razorbacks finished the weekend with 99 points and collected a five event titles over the course of three days of competition, tying the 2000 team for the most SEC titles in one meet. Gillespie’s second SEC title came in the mile.
For her efforts over the weekend, Gillespie was awarded the Cliff Harper Trophy as the high-point scorer on the women’s side. She finished the meet with 22 points after victories in the mile and 3,000 meters and second-place showing with the distance-medley relay. With five titles at this year’s meet, Arkansas now has 52 SEC indoor event titles in school history.
"We’re really excited about having five SEC champions this weekend," head coach Lance Harter said. "Overall, we had some good results this weekend. Whitney Jones qualified for the national meet and our pole vaulters put up grand marks to better themselves heading into NCAAs. Kristen Gillespie has proven that she’s a contender at the next level. So all in all, we’re perfectly set up for the NCAA meet and now we turn our attention to getting to Idaho to win a trophy."
Running in the finals of the mile, Gillespie pulled away from the lead pack to secure her second SEC title of the weekend. She crossed in a school-record time of 4:34.49, more than two seconds faster than the record she shared with Christin Wurth. Gillespie also set the SEC meet and Nutter Field House facility records with her performance. She is the seventh SEC mile champion in program history and the first since 2005 (Erica Sigmont).
Gillespie returned to the track to anchor the distance-medley relay to a second-place finish. She joined Grace Heymsfield, Rachel Werner and Martine Borge to post a time of 11:13.64, good for eight points toward the team total. Heymsfield was in her second race of the day after finished fourth in the mile with a personal-best time of 4:43.44. Keri Wood rounded out the team’s scoring in the mile with an eighth-place finish.
Regina George pulled triple duty Sunday with a third-place result at 400 meters, a seventh-place effort in the 200 meters and a bronze finish with the 4×400-meter relay. In the final event on the track, she joined teammates Gwendolyn Flowers, Whitney Jones and Chrishuna Williams for a time of 3:34.42. Jones was back on the track after an eighth-place finish at 400 meters.
At 800 meters, Martine Borge was the team’s top performer with a personal-best time of 2:07.81. She turned in a fourth-place finish in the event. Samantha Learch finished in seventh place at the distance, good for two points toward the team total. Kaitlin Flattmann made her SEC debut with a personal best at 5,000 meters. She posted a time of 16:44.63 and finished in eighth place.
In the first event on the track Sunday, Ivanique Kemp tied her personal best with a run of 8.27 to finish in fifth place in the 60-meter hurdles. Her finish was good for four points toward the Razorbacks’ team total. Running in the outside lane, Brittany Hyter posted a season-best 8.37 and finished just out of scoring position with a ninth-place showing.
The SEC Indoor Championships will air as part of a 90-minute show on ESPNU on Sunday, March 11 at 4 p.m. (CT). With two weeks to prepare for the national meet, Arkansas will host its Last Chance meet next weekend in Fayetteville. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
SEC Championships – Day 3 Results
200m7. Regina George – 23.96
400m3. Regina George – 52.948. Whitney Jones – 53.64
800m4. Martine Borge – 2:07.81 (PR)7. Samantha Learch – 2:09.85
Mile1. Kristen Gillespie – 4:34.49%A (PR)4. Grace Heymsfield – 4:43.44 (PR)8. Keri Wood – 4:50.75
5,000m8. Kaitlin Flattmann – 16:44.63 (PR)9. Dominique Scott – 16:54.9516. Shannon Klenke – 17:37.7919. Diane Robison – 17:44.82
60m Hurdles5. Ivanique Kemp – 8.27 (PR)9. Brittany Hyter – 8.37
Distance-Medley Relay2. Heymsfield/Werner/Borge/Gillespie – 11:13.64
4x400m Relay3. Flowers/Jones/Williams/George – 3:34.42
Triple Jump12. Tamara Myers – 12.03m/39-5.7518. Amalie Skage – 11.88m/38-11.75
High Jump12. Kirsten Hesseltine – 1.73m/5-8 (PR)13. Makeba Alcide – 1.73m/5-8
% – school record || A – NCAA automatic qualifier