NEW YORK, N.Y. – Head coach Lance Harter’s group of middle distance and distance runners clocked an Arkansas school record in the distance medley relay on day one of the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory Track Center on Friday.
"You always have to check your perspective," Hater said. "We had a great DMR school record that included All-Americans Erica Sigmont and Aneita Denton. Those are great athletes that held that record and to come back and shatter it, it’s exciting. Our lineup of a freshman, two sophomores and a junior, to be so young is impressive and we were without Stephanie Brown. I’m pleasantly stunned. With two laps to go, Samantha Learch almost fell and pushed off with one hand to keep her balance. We are also talking about a Tennessee team, without Sarah Bowman, that set the collegiate record last year. A very impressive performance."
Sophomore Samantha Learch(1,200 meters; 3:26), junior Shelise Williams(400 meters; 52.2), freshman Regina George (800 meters; 2:07.2) and sophomore Kristen Gillespie (mile, 4:39.8) combined for a time of 11:06.56 to finish fourth. The quartet’s time ranks No. 5 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the SEC. Villanova won the race in a time of 11:02.83, Tennessee was second in 11:02.85 and Georgetown was third (11:03.80).
They broke the school record of 11:09.09 set by Denton, Tominque Boatright, Paige Farrell and Sigmont in 2005 at the Armory Track Center.
Senior Katie Stripling won the pole vault. She cleared 14-1.25 and led a 1-2-5 finish for Arkansas in the event. Sophomore Tina Sutej was second (13-9.25) and senior Janice Keppler was fifth (13-5.25). Keppler’s mark is a season best.
Junior Edina Brooks won the collegiate 400 meters with a season-best time of 55.43. Senior Karen Thomas finished 21st in the championship 400 meters with a time of 55.76.
In the championship sections of the 1,000 meters, freshman Natanya Luther finished fourth with a time of 2:51.03 and freshman Taylor Johnson was 14th with a 2:56.88.
Junior Shantel Thompson finished 14th in the championship long jump with a leap of 19-2.75. Sophomore Whitney Jones was 15th with her mark of 19-0.5.
Events continue at the Armory Track Center on Saturday. For continued coverage of Razorback track and field, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.