SAN MARCOS, Texas — The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team racked up seven wins and a pair of NCAA leaders Saturday afternoon at the Texas State Elite in San Marcos, Texas. In the scored outdoor-season opener, the Razorbacks finished in third place with 119 points. In addition to Arkansas, the field of competition also included No. 16 Illinois, No. 24 UCLA, UT-San Antonio and host Texas State.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Gwendolyn Flowers, Regina George, Sparkle McKnight and Tamara Myers combined for the Razorbacks’ first win on the track. The foursome passed the baton around in a time of 44.63. Based on performances entering the weekend, the time for Arkansas is the fourth fastest in the country this season. The Razorbacks finished more than 1.5 seconds clear of the second-place team.
In the 100-meter hurdles, Ivanique Kemp ran to first place in heat two and an overall victory with a time of 13.51. She finished just .02 ahead of the runner-up performer from Illinois. The Razorbacks’ next track win came by way of Chrishuna Williams at 400 meters. Running in the second section of the timed final, the Arkansas sophomore dropped nearly a second off her personal best with Saturday’s time of 53.79.
George later returned to the track for the first open 800 meters of her outdoor collegiate career. She responded with an NCAA-leading time of 2:03.79 and finished nearly six seconds ahead of the race runner-up. George ran a leg of Arkansas’ 4×800-meter relay at Texas Relays as a freshman in 2010. In her second race of the day, McKnight also established an NCAA best with her time of 56.62 to win the 400-meter hurdles. She finished just off the school-record time of 56.46 set by Brittany Hyter in 2011.
Arkansas’ first win of the outdoor season came from newcomer Amethyst Boyd in the javelin, the first event of the competition. On her sixth and final attempt of the day, Boyd measured in with a mark of 40.02m/131-3 to secure the win. Teammate Rebecca Gorden was the event runner-up to complete a 1-2 finish for the Razorbacks. She also had her best throw of the day of 39.66m/130-1 in the sixth round.
The Razorbacks collected two more field victories from Kirsten Hesseltine and Myers in the high jump and long jump, respectively. Hesseltine won her event with a final clearance of 1.75m/5-8.75 while Myers claimed in the top spot in the long jump with a day’s best mark of 5.87m/19-3.25.
Arkansas returns to action next weekend with the team split between its home Spring Invitational, Texas Relays in Austin and Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. 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.