DES MOINES, Iowa – The No. 4 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team collected a trio of finals qualifiers Wednesday on day one of the 2011 NCAA Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. With their performances in the semifinals, Shelise Williams and Regina George grabbed two of the top-eight spots in the finals of the 400 meters, while Brittany Hyter secured a place in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles.
As was the case at the national indoor meet in March, the Razorbacks will be represented by Williams and George in the finals of the 400 meters. Both grabbed automatic berths with second-place finishes in their respective semifinal heats. Williams finished fourth overall with a season-best time of 51.84, while George qualified seventh in 52.35.
The time for Williams was her fastest since setting the school record of 51.71 last season at the preliminary event in Austin, Texas. In advancing to the final round, George posted the second-fastest of her career. In heat one of the semifinal round, Whitney Jones finished sixth in a time of 53.33 and will not advance to Friday’s final.
Hyter ran to a lifetime-best en route to a victory in heat two of the 400-meter hurdles, clinching an automatic berth into the final. The Razorback sophomore posted a time of 56.46, knocking more than a second off her previous personal best. Entering the national meet, Hyter had a PR of 57.52 which she ran last season at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin. She has run her two fastest times of the season in her last two races.
"There’s no better feeling than one an athlete peaks at the right time," associate head and sprints coach Rolando Greene said. "I told (Brittany) earlier this week that if she did what we worked on in practice and executed her race, she could run a 56, but I know she has a 55 in her. She executed her race beautifully."
In the semifinal round of the 800 meters, Stephanie Brown finished seventh in heat three and 21st overall and will not advance to Friday’s final. The Razorback sophomore crossed in a time of 2:09.22. Brown finishes the outdoor season with a career-best time of 2:02.59, run at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Eugene, Ore. That performance is the No. 2 time in school history.
Day two of the 2011 NCAA Championships marks the beginning of the heptathlon for Makeba Alcide and will feature semifinal action in the 1,500 meters, 100-meter hurdles and 4×400-meter relay. For more information and continued meet coverage, including live results and interactive blog, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
NCAA Championships – Day 1 Results
400 Meters4. Shelise Williams, 51.84 (Q)7. Regina George, 52.35 (Q)17. Whitney Jones, 53.33
800 Meters21. Stephanie Brown, 2:09.22
400m Hurdles8. Brittany Hyter, 56.46 (Q)
(Q) – qualifies for final
Download: NCAA Championship results, Day 1.pdf