COLLEGE STATION – The Arkansas women’s track and field team completed the 2017 indoor season with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station off a combined team effort over the two-day event.
The Razorbacks collected 20.5 points on day two, capping the indoor national meet with a score of 32.5 points, behind No. 1 Oregon (84), No. 2 Georgia (51), No. 3 Alabama (37) and No. 4 Southern California (35).
Arkansas thrived on and off track, relying on almost every one of its qualifiers for its top-five finish. Redshirt junior Taliyah Brooks was the best-individual performer of the meet for the Razorbacks, pulling in eight points solo as the national runner-up in the pentathlon. Brooks was complimented in that event by Leigha Brown who placed fifth with a score of 4,216.
Senior Daina Harper was Arkansas’ best performer of the championship on day two, racing to a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash with the second sub-52 second performance of her career.
The Razorbacks also had multiple scorers in the mile as Therese Haiss (4:34.54) and Nikki Hiltz (4:34.57) both raced to new PRs, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. Their performances earned them spots in Razorback history as the fourth and fifth-best milers to ever don an Arkansas uniform.
Pole vault trio Tori Weeks, Desiree Freier and Lexi Weeks combined to add eight points to Arkansas’ team total as all three posted top-eight finishes in the event to close out the afternoon. Tori Weeks was the top Razorback vaulter of the day, finishing fifth with a clearance of 4.30m/14-1 1/4. Freier also had a clearance over 4.30m/14-1 1/4 but finished behind her teammate due to missed attempts earlier in the competition.
Arkansas finished the meet, placing 11th in the 4-x-400-meter relay with a time of 3 minutes, 32.34 seconds off the heels of Sunkietra McCallister, Brianna Swinton, Ceara Watson and Harper.
The Razorbacks will open up the 2017 outdoor season in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the Arkansas Spring Invitational on March 24-25.
NCAA Indoor Scoring Breakdown (32.5)
• 400 Meters (5) – Daina Harper, 4th
• Mile (7) – Therese Haiss, 5th, Nikki Hiltz, 6th
• Pole Vault (8.5) – Tori Weeks, 5th, Desiree Freier, 6th, Lexi Weeks, T7th
• Pentathlon (12) – Taliyah Brooks, 2nd, Leigha Brown, 5th
NCAA Indoor Championship
March 11, 2017
Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium (College Station, Texas)
Team Scores (Top 10)
1. Oregon – 84
2. Georgia – 51
3. Alabama – 37
4. Southern California – 35
5. Arkansas – 32.5
6. Kentucky – 26
7. Colorado – 21
8. Missouri – 18
8. Miami – 18
10. Penn State – 14
10. Stanford – 14
400 Meters Finals
4. Daina Harper – 51.93
5. Therese Haiss – 4:34.54
6. Nikki Hiltz – 4:34.57
14. Taylor Werner – 9:27.66
11. McCallister, Swinton, Watson, Harper – 3:32.34
5. Tori Weeks – 4.30m/14-1 1/4
6. Desiree Freier – 4.30m/14-1 1/4
7. Lexi Weeks – 4.20m/13-9 1/4
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.