FAYETTEVILLE — For the second time this season, University of Arkansas senior Makeba Alcide has been named the SEC Field Athlete of the Week as announced by the league office Tuesday. In her latest outing, Alcide scored an NCAA-leading 5,882 points to win the heptathlon at the John McDonnell Combined Events. The competition was her second heptathlon in as many weeks.
With her performance, the Razorback senior also moved into the No. 2 spot on the Arkansas all-time list, just 43 points behind the school record of 5,925 points set by Gi-Gi Miller in 2001. Alcide’s score is a personal best by more than 200 points, surpassing her previous best of 5,646 scored at the 2011 SEC Championships in Athens, Ga. The McDonnell Combined Events was the second heptathlon in as many weeks for Alcide who opened her season March 27-28 at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
“Obviously, her fitness is really good to compete in two heptathlons in back-to-back weeks,” head coach Lance Harter said. “That’s like running two marathons. You’re not supposed to do that. It wasn’t a part of the plan but at Texas (Relays), she had a solid score but gave up some key points in primary events, like the high jump. She came back to jump a new school record at 6-2 and take the national lead. We’re really pleased with what she was able to do.”
On day one of the heptathlon, Alcide broke the program’s 10-year-old school record in the high jump with a final clearance of 1.88m/6-2. The mark in the high jump is tied for the top spot in the SEC and No. 2 in the NCAA. Alcide won four of the seven events during the McDonnell Combined Events, which produced the No. 1 and 3 heptathlon scores in the country this year (Tanya Freisen, Wichita State — 5,757 points).
Alcide was previously selected for SEC weekly honors following her indoor pentathlon performance at the Razorback Team Invitational at the end of January. This marks the fourth SEC Field Athlete of the Week selection of the year for Arkansas. Along with Alcide’s two honors, Tamara Myers (Jan. 15) and Sandi Morris (Jan. 22) have also garnered recognition during the 2013 campaign.
In Tuesday’s release of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) top-25 national poll, the Razorback women are the No. 12 team in the country and one of six teams from the SEC ranked inside the top 20. Arkansas also has two NCAA leaders with Alcide in the heptathlon and Sparkle McKnight with her performance of 52.17 at 400 meters last weekend at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
The Razorbacks will return to their home track Saturday for the John McDonnell Invitational, a scored event in Fayetteville. Field events are slated for a 9 a.m. (CT) start with running events beginning at 5 p.m. In addition to Arkansas, the meet is also scheduled to feature Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Tulsa.
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