FAYETTEVILLE – Just days before the start of the 2011 SEC Outdoor Championships, the University of Arkansas track and field teams racked up three weekly accolades from the league office Tuesday afternoon. For their respective performances at the Arkansas Twilight last weekend, the Razorbacks swept SEC Runner of the Week honors with Regina George and Marek Niit, while the SEC Female Field Athlete of the Week award went to Tina Sutej for the sixth time this season.
George won the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 52.57. Her previous best of 52.60 came last year at the NCAA West Prelim in Austin. With her performance, George moves into second in the SEC in the 400 meters-behind teammate Shelise Williams-and seventh in the nation. Earlier in the day, George ran the second leg for the Razorbacks’ 4×100-meter relay which posted a season-best 44.62 in a winning effort. The time moves the team into fourth in the conference.
In his first open 200 meters of the season, Niit ran a personal-best 20.46 to win the event He knocked more than .3 second off previous best of 20.78 which he ran two years ago at the SEC Championships. Niit’s performance puts him first in the SEC and No. 3 in the NCAA. In the first event on the track, he ran the anchor leg for Arkansas’ 4×100-meter relay which won the event in a season-best 39.47, the third-fastest of the year by an SEC team.
Sutej extended her winning streak to 12 meets with a school-record performance in the pole vault. She cleared the bar set at 14-9.5 (4.51m) to establish a new school and John McDonnell Field facility record. Sutej replaced her own school mark of 14-9 which she cleared on two previous occasions, including earlier this season at Texas Relays. The old facility record, also at 14-9, was set in 2007 by former Razorback April Steiner. The win for Sutej extends her SEC and national lead in the event.
In the May 10 release of the USTFCCCA national poll, both teams moved up to season-high positions. Arkansas’ women went up one spot and are currently ranked No. 7 in the country, while the Razorback men climbed four spots to land at No. 11.
The 2011 SEC Outdoor Championships will be contested May 12-15 at the Spec Towns Track in Athens, Ga. In addition to meet coverage at ArkansasRazorbacks.com, the conference meet will be streamed live at ESPN3.com Saturday from 3-5:30 p.m. (CT) and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. A tape-delay broadcast of the SEC Championships will be aired May 25 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.