AUSTIN, Texas – Tina Sutej tied the meet and school record with a victory in the pole vault Saturday afternoon as the No. 9 University of Arkansas women’s track and field closed out competition at the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Track Stadium in Austin. With Sutej’s win, the Razorbacks finished the weekend with three Texas Relays titles.
"We have to start with Tina," head coach Lance Harter said. "She ties the Texas Relays record but even more impressive is that she’s taking attempts at 15 feet and a new collegiate record (15-1.5). Fifteen feet is a major accomplishment and it’s just a matter of time for her with the form that she’s showing."
Sutej outdueled Shade Weygandt of Texas Tech for the win, clearing 14-9 on her first attempt. The clearance is the national leader and ties both the Texas Relays and school records. The meet record was set by Chelsea Johnson of UCLA in 2004, while Sutej equals her own school mark which she last summer at the Slovenian national championships. Including her indoor campaign, Saturday’s result gives Sutej nine victories in as many tries this season. Teammate Tara Diebold finished fifth with a clearance of 13-5.25.
The pole vault title is the second straight for Arkansas at Texas Relays with former Razorback All-American Katie Stripling winning last year in Austin. Coupled with the team’s two wins Friday, Arkansas now has 17 Texas Relays titles in program history.
The Razorbacks’ 4×400-meter relay finished second in the final event of the day. The foursome of Whitney Jones, Shelise Williams, Gwendolyn Flowers and Regina George ran to a season-best time of 3:31.34, knocking more than two seconds off their previous best this season which was run during the preliminary heats Friday.
"We had three phenomenal legs with our mile relay," Harter said. "Regina led off and Shelise was second and they put us in great position. Whitney was fighting with Texas on the anchor leg and ran a great leg to finish second."
In the invitational section of the 400-meter hurdles, Brittany Hyter finished fifth with a time of 1:01.28. During the preliminary rounds of the event Thursday, she clocked a season-best 59.21. In the ‘A’ section of the triple jump, Shantel Thompson finished 14th with a day’s best mark of 40-9.75. She improved with each of her three jumps of the day but did not advance to take three more attempts in the finals.
The Razorbacks will split next week for a pair of competitions. Williams and members of the distance crew will run April 14-15 at the 53rd Annual Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., while other members of the team will compete at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla. For more information and continued coverage, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.