AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore Michelle Martin was Arkansas’ leader on the second day of the 78th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Friday when she posted a NCAA regional qualifier in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 ¾ inches to post her first qualifier of the 2005 season.
Competing for just the second time this season, Martin soared over her career high bar on her first attempt to solidify an eighth-place finish. Martin also cleared the opening height of 5-7 on her first attempt before just missing 5-10 on a pair of chances.
"We had another strong day," Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. "Michelle had a great day in the high jump and Beyonka (McDowell) finished second in the long jump. Our only setback was the sprint medley, but fortunately we came out healthy."
In the long jump, McDowell soared to 19-8 ¼ to tie for first, but ultimately finished second on her second best jump. McDowell’s leap proved that her 20 foot jump from a week ago was no fluke and that she has found the touch that made her a US Championships qualifier just two years ago.
For Arkansas’ sprinters, Kasia Williams looked especially strong when she ran the second fastest 100-meter hurdles time in the competition at 13.38 seconds. Williams sits behind Ashlee Williams of Texas, but ahead of NCAA indoor 60-meter hurdles champion Priscilla Lopes who ran 13.51.
Arkansas wrapped up its competition in the steeplechase where the trio of Maureen Scott, Shiloh Whiting and Tiffany Redlarczyk finished 2-3-7. Scott was looking to repeat as the Texas Relays champion when she toed the line but was unable to keep up with Barbara Kuncova of Oklahoma State who would win the race in 10:18.92. Scott did manage to post a regional qualifier with the effort as did Whiting who finished the 3,000-meter race in 10:40.71. Redlarczyk just missed the regional qualifier by a scant four seconds.
The Lady Razorbacks lone setback came in the sprint medley relay where they were unable to finish the race due to a cramp in sprinter Tominque Boatwright’s left hamstring. While not a serious injury, the cramps have been nagging Boatright since the indoor season and she decided halfway through her leg of the relay to stop running rather than aggravate the area.
The Texas Relays conclude on Saturday with the Lady Razorbacks competing in the pole vault, 100-meter hurdles, 1,500 and distance medley relay. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.