NEW YORK – Juniors Paige Farrell and Lauren Lewis nearly set University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track history on Friday at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational with near school records in the 500- and 1,000-meter runs at the Armory in New York City.
Farrell opened the running events on Friday afternoon with a time of 1:14.38 in the 500-meters to notch the third fastest time in school history behind the 1984 marks of Teresa Barr. The 500-meter run is an event that is no longer contested at NCAA or SEC Championships.
In the 1,000, Lewis cruised to a time of 2:53.28, also the third fastest in Arkansas history. Only former Lady’Back and Arkansas Hall of Honor inductee Melody Sye ran a faster time.
“It was nice to see us get a decent start to the weekend,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We have had some very good competitions at the Armory and it should only get better from here as we have some loaded events coming up.”
In the 5,000-meter run, Lady Razorbacks Brooke Upshaw, Denise Bargiachi and Miranda Walker kept the pace for the field through 2,000 meters, stretching the field to leave a small pack of six runners. The trio came through the first kilometer at 3:17.1 and was on solid pace to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Midway through the race, Bargiachi moved into the lead, pulling a pair of runners with her as Walker and Upshaw fell off the rapid pace slightly.
Bargiachi would lose the lead near the 4K mark, but held on for a hard-fought second-place finish with Walker taking third. Upshaw wrapped up the Lady Razorback contingent with a fifth-place finish. Most impressive about the outcome was Bargiachi’s near NCAA provisional qualifier in the event. Charging after the 16:42 qualifier, Bargiachi came in at the 16:52 mark to just miss out on a potential trip to the NCAA Championships.
Advancing to Saturday’s final action were Tominque Boatright in the 400 meters and Etienne Chaplin in the 60-meter hurdles. Boatright posted the competitions’ ninth fastest 400-meter time at 54.71, not a season or career best, but a very good time on the Armory surface. Chaplin’s time of 8.74 in the hurdles was a season best by two-tenths of a second and earned her the final spot in Saturday’s consolation finals.
Other Lady Razorbacks that had a solid day of competition included Michelle Rossio in the shot put who posted a lifetime best at 46 feet, 11 ¾ inches, Michelle Martin in the high jump with a clearance of 5-6 and Tiavannia Thompson with a time of 8.75 in the 60-meter hurdles.
Competition at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational continues on Saturday morning. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.