LEXINGTON, Ky. – Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field finished third at the SEC Championships in Lexington, Ky. on Sunday. The Hogs picked up an event win and three runner-up finishes on the final day of competition.
Tennessee won the team title with 111 points, LSU was second with 105 points and Arkansas rounded out the top three with 97 points.
"We really turned it around today and picked up some major points," head coach Lance Harter said. "The 5,000 meters and the relays were great events for us. That was a huge breakthrough for Christine (Kalmer) to win the 5,000 meters. Our relays did a great job of picking up points, especially our 4×400-meter relay. They clocked the second-fastest time in the nation and were anchored by a great freshman in Whitney Jones."
Arkansas picked up a 1-2-3 finish in the 5,000 meters, good for 24 points. Senior Christine Kalmer led the Hogs with her race win. She clocked a personal-best time of 16:20.06 to break the Nutter Field House record, earn her second All-SEC honor and improve her NCAA qualifying time.
"This is the first time in four years that I have won," Kalmer said. "Every time I would come so close, but this time, when I least expected it, it happened. I couldn’t ask for anything else. We picked up some much needed points too."
Senior Denise Bargiachi was second across the line in the 5,000 meters. She clocked a 16:23.90 to earn her third All-SEC honor. Catherine White finished third with a time of 16:38.07.
The Razorbacks have a long and storied history in all the distance races at the SEC Championships but that history pales in comparison to the 5,000 meters where Arkansas has won 14 of the last 18 titles. Arkansas’ longest stretch of 5,000-meter titles was six straight between 1992 and 1997 and, before Kalmer’s victory, its most recent title came in 2008 from Bargiachi.
Arkansas ended the weekend with two runner-up finishes in the relays. The distance medley relay clocked a time of 11:37.70 while the 4×400-meter relay clocked a time of 3:35.18. Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay clocked the nation’s second-fastest time in the event, a season best and an improved NCAA qualifier.
On the 4×400-meter relay, Karen Thomas (53.7), Shelise Williams (52.6), Janine Davis (54.4) and Whitney Jones (53.6) combined for the 3:35.18. On the DMR, Lauren Lewis (1,200 meters, 3:39), Courtenay Brown (400 meters, 55.0), Samantha Learch (800 meters, 2:09) and Jillian Rosen (mile, 4:51) combined for the 11:37.70.
Other scorers for the Hogs include Jones in the 200 meters (seventh, 24.03), Williams in the 400 meters (fourth, 53.52), Davis in the 800 meters (seventh, 2:09.30) and Rosen in the mile (sixth, 4:47.46). Williams’ time in the 400 meters is a personal best and an improved NCAA qualifier.
For complete results, visit Arkansas Razorbacks.com. The 2009 SEC Indoor Championships show will air on FSN on Sun., March 8 at 2:30 p.m. (CST).