COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Fresh off winning its 12th-consecutive Southeastern Conference Championship the No. 2 Arkansas women’s track and field team returns to College Station this weekend for the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championship.
Arkansas is one of four ranked SEC programs that top the national polls, including No. 1 Georgia, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 4 LSU.
“Georgia jumped ahead of us in the polls,” head coach Lance Harter said. “They had a great SEC meet by their key individuals. As everyone knows, at the national meet the caliber of talent rises according to the competition and they have a few more stars than a lot of us do. I think we’ve got to do what we can do and that’s make sure we take care of business in the events that we’re favored in and capitalize on other events where we’re in the mix.”
Events to Watch (Friday):
• 12:15 p.m. | Pentathlon
Razorback Entry: Taliyah Brooks (PR: 4,580 points)
• 5:50 p.m. | Mile Semifinal
Razorback Entry: Nikki Hiltz (PR: 4:33.44)
• 6:15 p.m. | 60 Meters Semifinal
Razorback Entry: Jada Baylark (PR: 7.22)
• 6:40 p.m. | 400 Meters Semifinal
Razorbacks Entry: Morgan Burks-Magee (PR: 52.20)
• 7:05 p.m. | 60 Meter Hurdles Semifinal
Razorback Entries: Janeek Brown (PR: 8.04) | Payton Chadwick (PR: 8.08)
• 7:10 p.m. | Long Jump Final
Razorback Entries: Taliyah Brooks (PR: 6.57m/21-6 3/4) | Payton Chadwick (PR: 6.30m/20-8)
• 7:50 p.m. | 200 Meters Semifinal
Razorback Entries: Payton Chadwick (PR: 22.99)
Friday Scoring Opportunities
Redshirt senior leader Taliyah Brooks will look to position the Razorbacks for strong contention for team gold on Friday as an individual contender for gold in both the pentathlon and the long jump. Although currently ranked second in the pentathlon Brooks is the top returning performer in the event from the 2017 season and boasts the strongest PR (4,580 points), which she scored at last year’s indoor national meet. Additionally she is one of only nine women to mark a 21-foot jump this season, with her best of 6.57m/21-6 3/4 trailing national leader Kate Hall of Georgia by 2 3/4 inches. Arkansas will hope to pick up additional points in the long jump off the heels of Payton Chadwick who enters the event with a best of 6.30m/20-8. It will be one of three events on the weekend in which Chadwick hopes to contribute points to the Hogs in.
Survive and Advance
Arkansas will try and push through several Razorbacks to Saturday event finals starting with another senior leader, Nikki Hiltz in the mile semifinal at 5:50 p.m. CT. Freshmen Janeek Brown (60-meter hurdles) and Morgan Burks-Magee (400 meters) will look to hold their own with the upperclassmen and advance out of the first round in their national debuts in their respective events. Along with Brown the 60-meter hurdles with feature Payton Chadwick who will be pulling double duty for Arkansas on the track between the hurdles and the 200.
Pole Vault Power
Following Friday’s competition, Arkansas will look for a score boost from pole vault trio Desiree Freier, Tori Hoggard and Lexi Jacobus. The four-time All-Americans finished 2-3-5 at the SEC championships led by Jacobus. All three hogs are seasoned competitors at the national level and return as top-eight finishers from the 2017 competition.
The Razorbacks will kick off the weekend tomorrow afternoon with Taliyah Brooks in the pentathlon 60-meter hurdles at 12:15 p.m. The two-day event will be live streamed on ESPN3 with Friday’s stream beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday’s stream beginning at 4 p.m..
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.