FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team racked up eight event wins Saturday at the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks collected wins from Martine Borge at 800 meters, Grace Heymsfield at 1,500 meters, Kaitlin Flattmann at 3,000 meters, Gwendolyn Flowers in the 400-meter hurdles, Jessica Kamilos in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Kirsten Hesseltine in the high jump, Tamara Myers in the triple jump and the team’s 4×400-meter relay.
“I thought we had a great day,” head coach Lance Harter said. “Considering we had some people running in off events and others in their home events. We had Regina George open up in the quarter and with her 52-point, she’s assured of going on to the regional meet. We just had spectacular performances across the board. Jessica Kamilos, first time to run the steeplechase, runs 10:22 which is a phenomenal mark. It was just that type of meet all the way through.”
The Razorbacks’ first win of the day came from Flattmann at 3,000 meters. Running up front with the lead pack of three for most of the race, the Arkansas sophomore pulled away late to post a winning time of 9:49.67. She was joined in the winner’s circle by Kamilos who, in her debut in the event, won the steeplechase in 10:22.14, more than 20 seconds clear of the second-place runner in the race.
At middle distance, Borge and Heymsfield paced the team with their respective victories. Borge increased her lead over the pack over the final lap of the 800 meters and crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 2:06.21. Heysmfield and teammate Diane Robison posted a 1-2 finish for the Razorback at 1,500 meters. The Elkins, Ark., native led the way with a winning time of 4:23.26, just ahead of the 4:23.58 turned in by Robison.
Arkansas had another personal-best effort from Hesseltine in the high jump. She tied her lifetime best with a final clearance of 1.76m/5-9.25. Hesseltine entered the meet with three consecutive weeks with a 5-8.75 clearance but was able to get over the next bar Saturday. Myers tacked on the Razorbacks second field title with her showing in the triple jump. On her fifth pass of the competition, she got out to a day’s best mark of 12.78m/41-11.25 to secure the win.
Flowers was a two-time winner Saturday. Individually, she raced to first place in the 400-meter hurdles, navigating the track in a time of 59.64. The Razorback senior entered the season with just one career race in the event but Saturday’s race was her fourth of the season. Flowers also led off for the winning 4×400-meter relay team that also included Borge, Makeba Alcide and Sparkle McKnight. The team combined for a time of 3:36.32.
“Overall, we came out second as team,” Harter said. “We’ll take that considering No. 1 (Kansas) and No. 3 (Texas A&M) were here, too. I think today just serves as a glimpse of what we have to come. This week, our sprints/jumps crew will take the week off and just train. Our distance crew will go in and really fire up in their primary events.”
The John McDonnell Invitational was a scored competition with Arkansas coming away with a second-place team finish with 148 points. Third-ranked Texas A&M finished first in the team standings with 189 points while No. 1 Kansas was third with 91 points, No. 24 Oklahoma was fourth with 66 points and Oklahoma State was fifth with 31 points.
Following Saturday’s competition in Fayetteville, the No. 12 Razorback women hit the road for a pair of events. Next weekend, the team will be split between the 55th Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., and the Michael Johnson Classic in Waco, Texas. The team returns to John McDonnell Field for a pair of home meets April 27 at the Arkansas Invitational and May 3 at the Arkansas Twilight.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.
Saturday Results 100 Meters 3. Gwendolyn Flowers — 11.46 (+4.0) 13. Ivanique Kemp — 12.09 (+3.0) 14. Shekara Boakye — 12.29 (+3.0) 15. Alexa Vessell — 12.96 (+3.0) 200 Meters 3. Regina George — 23.28 (+3.5) 12. Sparkle McKnight — 24.34 (3.5) 14. Chrishuna Williams — 25.07 (+2.5) 19. Shekara Boakye — 26.29 (+2.7) 20. Alexa Vessell — 26.69 (+2.5) 400 Meters 2. Regina George — 52.48 4. Sparkle McKnight — 53.98 7. Chrishuna Williams — 56.10 9. Phyllis George — 57.23 10. Stephanie Brown — 57.76 800 Meters 1. Martine Borge — 2:06.21 (PR — prev: 2:06.54) 3. Keri Wood — 2:11.47 4. Paige Johnston — 2:12.08 7. Caitlin Noonan — 2:14.23 (PR — prev: 2:14.26) 1,500 Meters 1. Grace Heymsfield — 4:23.26 2. Diane Robison — 4:23.58 4. Shannon Klenke — 4:37.62 –. Stephanie Brown — DNF –. Samantha Thompson — DNF 3,000 Meters 1. Kaitlin Flattmann — 9:49.67 3. Valerie Reina — 10:04.36 100m Hurdles –. Ivanique Kemp — DNF 400m Hurdles 1. Gwendolyn Flowers — 59.64 3,000m Steeplechase 1. Jessica Kamilos — 10:22.14 4x100m Relay 3. Flowers/R. George/McKnight/Myers — 45.32 4x400m Relay 1. Flowers/McKnight/Alcide/Borge — 3:36.32 2. Williams/R. George/Kemp/P. George — 3:39.58 High Jump 1. Kirsten Hesseltine — 1.76m/5-9.25 (t-PR) Pole Vault 2. Danielle Nowell — 4.02m/13-2.25 7. Megan Zimlich — 3.77m/12-4.5 10. Ariel LaChance — 3.47m/11-4.5 Long Jump 3. Tamara Myers — 6.13m/20-1.5 (PR — prev: 19-8.25) Triple Jump 1. Tamara Myers — 12.78m/41-11.25 Javelin 4. Rebecca Gorden — 40.30m/132-3
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