NASHVILLE – The No. 2 Arkansas women’s track and field team picked up right where it left off during cross country season by running away with its ninth-consecutive Southeastern Conference (SEC) title with an impressive 12.5-point margin of victory at the 2017 SEC Indoor Championships.
Freshman Taylor Werner was Arkansas’ top performer of the weekend on the track while Taliyah Brooks led the Razorbacks in the field.
Narrowly missing out on the 3K title, Werner returned to the track as formidable as ever in the 5,000. Her first time racing the 5,000, Werner competed like a veteran, matching the pace of group through 3,200 meters before putting her speed endurance on full display. Her final time of 16 minutes and 4.05 seconds was over three seconds faster than the event runner-up. Werner was the top Razorback scorer of the meet, accumulating 18 points between the 3,000 and 5,000.
The Razorbacks entered the final day of competition in great position, courtesy of a 37.5-point pentathlon and pole vault assault on Friday, as well as 10 points from the 3,000 and one point from the long jump. Responsible for nine of Arkansas’ points on day one, Brooks went back to work on day two, tying for sixth in the high jump with a jump of 1.69m/5-6 1/2. She finished the weekend with a two-day individual total of 11 points – one of four Razorbacks to score in double-digits on the weekend.
Coming off an epic performance in the 400 preliminary, Harper put together another complete race in the 400 final to capture Arkansas’ third gold medal of the meet in a time 52.03. Harper joins former Razorbacks Taylor Ellis-Watson, Regina George and Shelise Williams in the record books as one of the best quarter-milers to run for Arkansas. Along with Harper, freshman Damajahnee Birch also scored in the 400, collecting two points with her seventh-place finish.
Elsewhere on the track Arkansas qualified five milers for the finals and managed to place four of them, picking up 12 more points toward its team total. Nikki Hiltz, Therese Haiss, Valerie Reina and Carina Viljoen placed fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively, helping the Razorbacks to strengthen its lead over conference foes.
Arkansas capped the SEC Indoor Championship with a pair of top-five performances in the DMR and 4-x-400-meter relays, closing the night with a final team score of 106.5 points. The Razorbacks have now won seven SEC indoor titles, including four in the last five years.
A replay of the 2017 SEC Indoor Championships will air as part of a two-hour show on ESPN on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT.
SEC Indoor Championship (Day 2)
February 25, 2017
Multipurpose Facility (Nashville, Tenn.)
1. Arkansas – 106.5
2. LSU – 94
3. Kentucky – 71
4. Georgia – 64
5. Ole Miss – 60.5
6. Alabama – 55
7. Texas A&M – 47
8. Florida – 45
9. Mississippi State – 30.5
10. Missouri – 26
11. Auburn – 11
12. Tennessee – 13.5
13. South Carolina – 9
13. Vanderbilt – 9
1. Daina Harper – 52.03
7. Damajahnee Birch – 54.49
4. Ceara Watson – 2:05.86
7. Alexandra Byrnes – 2:10.57
4. Nikki Hiltz – 4:40.88
5. Therese Haiss – 4:41.19
7. Valerie Reina – 4:44.65
8. Carina Viljoen – 4:48.48
9. Maddy Reed – 4:50.19
1. Taylor Werner – 16:04.05
8. Abby Gray – 16:22.91
9. Sydney Brown – 16:24.81
17. Regan Ward – 17:00.15
— Valerie Reina
6. Taliyah Brooks – 1.69m/5-6 1/2
17. Carmen Sitz – 1.64m/5-4 1/2
Distance Medley Relay
2. Haiss, Brown, Sawyer, Hiltz – 11:12.75
3. Watson, Birch, Swinton, Harper – 3:32.27
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.