NEW YORK, N.Y. – The No. 6 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team concluded competition at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational Saturday evening at the Armory Track & Field Center. In the team total which combined the college and championship sections of the meet, the Razorbacks finished fourth with 49 points.
"We had a little misfortune in the 800 meters," head coach Lance Harter said. "We were hoping to get an NCAA qualifier this weekend with Stephanie Brown but we’re really pleased with how Kristen Gillespie ran today. Jillian Rosen also came around and is starting to get into form. In the 4×4, we probably got a little too aggressive early and it cost us but we still had our second-best time of the season."
The Razorbacks closed out the day, and the weekend, with a second-place effort in the 4×400-meter relay. Whitney Jones, Shelise Williams, Gwendolyn Flowers and Regina George combined for a time of 3:34.70, finishing behind national leader Texas A&M. The time is just off a second NCAA automatic qualifier for Arkansas which owns the No. 2 time in the country of 3:32.48 set last weekend at the Razorback Invitational.
In the college section of the 800 meters, Kristen Gillespie continued her strong weekend with a runner-up performance in a time of 2:08.82. On day one of the meet, she was the lead-off leg for Arkansas’ distance-medley relay that broke the school record and secured an NCAA automatic-qualifying time. Jillian Rosen, in her second event of the weekend, clocked a time of 2:14.889, good for 13th place overall.
Stephanie Brown finished ninth in the championship section of the 800 meters. She crossed the tape in a time of 2:10.01 after navigating a fallen competitor on the back stretch during the race’s second lap.
In the only field event of the day for the Razorbacks, Shantel Thompson placed ninth in the championship division of the triple jump. In her best attempt of the day, she went out to a distance of 41-3, her second-best mark of the season.
"We came here this weekend with the idea of running an NCAA qualifier in the DMR and, obviously, we got that (Friday)," Harter said. "Even with the misfortunes of some of the travel, we were still able to compete well. Now we head back for Tyson to brush up a little bit and fine tune for the SEC Championships."
The Razorbacks return to their home facility next weekend for the Tyson Invitational. The two-day event will be held Feb. 11-12 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. Competition begins Friday with the afternoon schedule at noon while the evening session getting under way at 6 p.m. (CT). For more home meet information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.