FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 6 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team collected five event victories Friday on day one of the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Rector Fieldhouse in Blacksburg, Va. Along the way, Shelise Williams and Whitney Jones posted school records in the 500 meters and 300 meters, respectively. Other wins on day one included Stephanie Brown in the mile, Ivanique Kemp in the 60-meter hurdles and Danielle Nowell in the pole vault.
"We had a real positive first day," head coach Lance Harter. "We’re still in a pretty heavy load phase with our training and we’ve got some sore athletes, so it’s really special what we did today. It’s even more special because some of our kids didn’t get in until 1:30 this morning but they were able to push through to turn in some good performances."
In victory, Williams replaced a 27-year old school record in the 500 meters with a 1:10.93, nearly two seconds faster than the previous mark set by Teresa Barr during the 1984 season. Including her finish Friday, Williams now holds or is part of five school records-indoor 400 meters, outdoor 400 meters, 500 meters, 4×400 relay and distance-medley relay.
Another school record fell in the 300 meters at the hands of Jones. She crossed in first place with a time of 38.39, improving her own record of 38.65 set last season on the same track at Virginia Tech. She was followed by teammate Gwendolyn Flowers who posted a runner-up time of 38.76, the third-best time in program history.
Brown earned the first win of the day for Arkansas with a first-place run in the mile. The Razorbacks captured four of the top five spots in the event, including the top four collegiate results. Brown had a time of 4:47.18 and she was followed by Samantha Learch (third, 4:50.63), Miranda Walker (fourth, 4:57.61) and Cali George (fifth, 4:59.86).
Kemp captured her second win in the 60-meter hurdles in as many weeks with a first-place showing. She crossed in a time of 8.51 to lead a 1-3 finish for Arkansas. Brittany Hyter picked up a bronze finish, clocking in at 8.61, just .003 seconds off a second-place result. In her debut for the Razorbacks, Breeana Coleman posted a time of 8.68 which was good for sixth place.
The Razorbacks picked up a win in the unseeded section of the pole vault with Nowell clinching first place with a clearance of 12-5.25. Fellow freshman Megan Weller was seventh in the event with a mark of 10-11.75.
In her first indoor race since the 2009 season, Jillian Rosen turned in a second-place performance in the 1,000 meters. The junior runner had a time of 2:58.35 in her season debut. Shantel Thompson had a mark of 40-5 in the triple jump to come away with a third-place finish.
Competition at the Virginia Tech Invitational continues Saturday at 11 a.m. with the seeded section of the pole vault featuring Tara Diebold and Tina Sutej. Other events to be held on day two include the long jump, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 3,000 meters, DMR and 4×400-meter relay. For more details and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.