FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 4 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team picked up its fifth NCAA automatic-qualifying performance of the season Saturday with its performance in the 4×400-meter relay. The Razorbacks closed out the weekend at the USA Track & Field Classic Saturday evening after hosting the Tyson Invitational.
In the final collegiate event of the weekend-also part of the USATF Classic-the Razorbacks finished third in the 4×400-meter relay with the No. 3 time in the NCAA. The foursome of Gwendolyn Flowers, Whitney Jones, Chrishuna Williams and Regina George passed the baton around the track in a season-best time of 3:32.75, the fourth-fastest time in school history.
Competing Saturday evening with the professionals during the USA Track & Field Classic, Stephanie Brown set the school record in the indoor 1,500 meters with a time of 4:15.38. The previous record of 4:28.30 was set by Melody Sye during the 1986 season. As the only collegiate in the race, Brown finished in eighth place in the field of 11 runners.
Ivanique Kemp ran to a fourth-place finish in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. She crossed in a time of 8.29, her fastest time of the weekend and second best of the season. The hurdles final was run as part of the USATF Classic after the preliminary and semifinal rounds Friday during the Tyson Invitational.
"All of our kids ran so well this weekend," associate head coach Rolando Greene said. "When you’re lining up against the best in the nation, you have no choice but to rise to that challenge. We have been concentrating on practicing and preparing at the high level and now with the SEC meet up next, we have to put it all out there and give our best."
The Razorbacks had three top-20 performances in the 200 meters. George was the team’s top runner in the event with a season-best time of 23.90. She was followed by Jones with a season-best 23.97 in 11th place and Flowers with a personal-best time of 24.16 in 17th place. In the final heat of the event, Phyllis George turned in a personal-best time of 25.36.
In the Olympic development section of the 800 meters, Kristen Gillespie led a 3-6-7 finish for the Razorbacks. She turned in a personal-best time of 2:05.88, more than two seconds faster than her previous best. Samantha Learch, in a season best 2:07.22, and Martine Borge, in a personal best 2:08.43, finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Keri Wood came away with a victory in the college section of the 800 meters. Running in heat one, she used a late charge over the final 100 meters to set the standard and eventual winning time of 2:12.54. The top eight places all came out of the first heat. In the championship section of the mile, Jillian Rosen posted a time of 4:46.83, a season-best mark and her fastest since the 2009 season.
Arkansas had three top-five finishes in the championship section of the 3,000 meters, led by a runner-up finish from Dominique Scott. She crossed the line in a personal-best time of 9:41.70 and ahead of teammate Cali George in third place at 9:47.14. Shannon Klenke rounded out the top-five results for the Razorbacks with a personal-best time of 9:49.86, good for fifth place.
In the Razorbacks’ first field result of the day, Tamara Myers had a personal-best performance in the college section of the triple jump. Her best mark of the day came in the third round with a jump of 12.61m/41-4.5, good for a third-place finish.
The Tyson Invitational marked the final competition for Arkansas before the start of its championship season. The 2012 SEC Indoor Championships will be held Feb. 24-26 at the Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
USA Track & Field Classic1,500M8. Stephanie Brown – 4:15.38%
60mH (final)4. Ivanique Kemp – 8.29
4x400M3. Arkansas [Flowers, Jones, Williams, R. George] – 3:32.75A (SB)
Tyson Invitational – Day 2 Results200M9. Regina George – 23.90 (SB)11. Whitney Jones – 23.97 (SB)17. Gwendolyn Flowers – 24.16 (PR)40. Ivanique Kemp – 24.8951. Phyllis George – 25.36 (PR)
800M (championship)3. Kristen Gillespie – 2:05.88 (PR)6. Samantha Learch – 2:07.22 (SB)7. Martine Borge – 2:08.43 (PR)
800M (college)1. Keri Wood – 2:12.54
Mile (championship)5. Jillian Rosen – 4:46.83 (SB)6. Grace Heymsfield – 4:47.128. Kaitlin Flattmann – 4:53.43
3,000M (championship)2. Dominique Scott – 9:41.70 (PR)3. Cali George – 9:47.14 (PR)5. Shannon Klenke – 9:49.86 (PR)10. Diane Robison – 9:58.58
4x400M6. Arkansas ‘B’ [Br. Hyter, Werner, Borge, Be. Hyter] – 3:40.76
Triple Jump (college)3. Tamara Myers – 12.61m/41-4.5 (PR)13. Amalie Skage – 11.93m/39-1.75
High Jump (championship)9. Makeba Alcide – 1.68m/5-6
A – NCAA automatic qualifier || % – school record