AMES, Iowa – Headlined by sophomore Tominque Boatright, the University of Arkansas 4×400-meter relay broke the Lady Razorback school record at the Iowa State Qualifier in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon when it ran a stunning 3:33.67.
Boatright teamed with Paige Farrell, Jessica Cousins and Sasha Rolle in the record-breaking effort that eclipsed the two-year old effort of Kerri-Ann Mitchell, Aneita Denton, LaShaunte’a Moore and two-time Olympic Gold medalist Veronica Campbell. The 2004 duo ran an impressive 3:34.82, but the race of the 2006 Lady Razorbacks shattered the mark by more than a second.
“We got a great lead off by Tominque,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “She got us off to a great start, but the best leg was Jessica Cousins who ran 52.5. We had some really positive results here and those should just add to our credentials at the national meet.”
Besides running a strong leadoff leg for the Lady Razorback’s record-setting relay, Boatright also proved her worth in the open 400 meters where she ran a near school record 53.51 on the Iowa State track. Missing the mark of Adwoa Gyasi-Nimako by three hundredths of a second, Boatright notched the second-fastest time in school history and a personal best by nearly a tenth of a second.
The pair of Boatright efforts put Arkansas’ relay eighth on the NCAA descending order list and the 400 moves her to 12th overall. The NCAA is required to take a minimum of 10 relay teams and 14 individuals to the national championship which could put both marks into the national championships picture depending on results from other last chance meets in Manhattan, Kan., Colorado Springs, Colo., and others.
Also competing on Saturday afternoon was sophomore Dacia Barr in the mile. Running a career best, 4:45.44, Barr easily won the competition at Ames, but her improved NCAA provisional mark place her 23rd on the descending order list making her a long shot to qualify for the NCAA meet. Prior to Saturday, Barr had posted her career best at the SEC Championships when she ran 4:46.33, a 10 second improvement upon her time from a year ago.
Rounding out the Lady Razorback contingent in Iowa was Farrell who tried to improve on her blockbuster race at the SEC Championships. Posting the 26th fastest time in the country in Gainesville, Fla., last weekend, Farrell was unable to drop her time any lower than 2:07.44. Farrell finished ninth overall at the Iowa State qualifier in 2:10.18.
The Lady Razorbacks now wait for the final list of participants for the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships which is scheduled to be released at 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 6. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.