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Season improvement in the half mile

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Season improvement in the half mile

FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 3 University of Arkansas women’s track and field closed out its home indoor schedule Friday evening with the Arkansas Last Chance meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Among the highlights, Stephanie Brown and Samantha Learch both posted a season-best performances in the 800 meters.

"Stephanie and Samantha both had improvements today (in the 800 meters)," head coach Lance Harter said. "That should be a qualifier for Stephanie but we’ll sit down and analyze as far as our best lineup at the national championships."

Brown finished first with a time of 2:05.46, improving her national ranking in her signature event. Based on times entering the weekend, Brown’s time would rank 11th in the NCAA while Learch would move into the top 30 with her clocking of 2:07.08. Martine Borge, running in 2:12.07, completed the 1-2-3 sweep for the Razorbacks.

In the pole vault, Tara Diebold entered the competition at the third height and cleared 13-3.25 to earn a first-place finish. Having secured the win, she passed the next height and took three attempts at getting over the bar set at 13-11.75, a would-be season best. Diebold is currently tied for 10th in the NCAA in the pole vault with a clearance of 13-11.25 at the Tyson Invitational.

Brittany Hyter was Arkansas’ top qualifier during the preliminary round of the 60-meter hurdles. She was second overall in the opening heats followed immediately by teammates Breeana Coleman and Ivanique Kemp. In the finals, Coleman came away with the victory with her time of 8.39, just .01 ahead of runner-up Tia Thompson. The win is the first of Coleman’s collegiate career. Hyter and Kemp were separated by .003 for third and fourth, respectively.

Gwendolyn Flowers improved upon her season-best time in the 400 meters with a time of 55.03 in the first section of the timed final. She finished fourth overall. Bethany Hyter turned in a fifth-place result with her time of 55.90. Flowers is already qualified for the NCAA Championships as a member of Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay, which has the nation’s No. 2 time of 3:31.01 set at the SEC Championships.

Makeba Alcide began her day with a fifth-place finish in the long jump with a day’s best jump mark of 17-9.75, her second-best jump of the season. In her second event of the day, she qualified for the finals of the 60-meter hurdles and finished seventh overall with a time of 8.91. Leah Orley also advanced to the finals the hurdles event, but did not run. Alcide is currently No. 16 nationally in the pentathlon with her 3,959 point total at the SEC Championships.

Shantel Thompson won the triple jump competition with a 42-0.75 measurement on her final attempt of the day. She is ranked 20th in the NCAA in the triple jump with her season-best mark of 42-2 earlier this season at the Razorback Invitational.

"We’ll just see how deep they’re going to go (with NCAA entries)," Harter said. "Are they going to take 14 per event or 15 and 16? I know last year, they took up to 17 and that would help Makeba (in the heptathlon) so we’ll just keep our fingers crossed."

Friday’s meet is the final home indoor meet for the season for the Razorbacks who return to action March 11-12 at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas. Arkansas enters next weekend with five automatic qualifiers spread among three student-athletes and two relays. The accepted entries list for the national meet will be announced Monday evening. For more information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Download: Arkansas Last Chance results_03.04.pdf



Sports Category : Track & Field (W)