AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 9 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team picked up wins in the sprint-medley and 4×1,500-meter relays Friday evening at the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Track Stadium in Austin. The victories represent the 15th and 16th Texas Relays titles in program history.
"It’s always nice to win here in Texas," head coach Lance Harter said. "Starting off with the sprint medley, that was a great effort. Shelise and Regina did a great job on the 200 legs to put Whitney in position and then she ran a great 400. Then Stephanie was able to hold off some great half-milers that were behind her. With the 4×1,500, it’s really nice that Miranda, in her fifth year, finally gets to win a Texas Relays race."
In the first relay final of the weekend, the Arkansas foursome of Shelise Williams (200 meters), Regina George (200), Whitney Jones (400) and Stephanie Brown (800) took the tape in a time of 3:46.52. Jones took the lead at the break during the 400-meter leg and the Razorbacks never trailed from that point in the race. The win is Arkansas’ first in the event since 2007 when Lakeisha Martin, Tominique Boatright, Jessica Cousins and Paige Farrell combined for the win.
The 4×1,500 relay followed in the next race with a near 23-second victory in the last women’s event of the day. Paige Johnston, Jillian Rosen, Miranda Walker and Kristen Gillespie combined for a time of 18:11.51. The win is Arkansas’ first in the event and sixth overall in the relay events.
The Razorbacks’ 4×400-meter relay team turned in a season-best performance in the preliminary heats of the event. Running in its familiar order, the quartet of Jones, Williams, Gwendolyn Flowers and George won heat four in a time of 3:33.63, good for the third-fastest qualifier. Saturday’s finals of the 4×400-meter relays are scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m. (CT).
Shantel Thompson had a runner-up result in the ‘B’ section of the long jump. In her third jump of the day, the Razorback senior got out to a mark of 19-7. Rebecca Gorden posted a season best in the javelin, finishing fifth in section ‘B’ with a throw of 130-6. Her best throw came during the final round of attempts, which moved her up one spot from sixth to fifth. Kirsten Hesseltine (5-5) finished tied for sixth in the high jump.
In the preliminary rounds of the 100-meter hurdles, Brittany Hyter was Arkansas’ top performer with a time of 13.61. She finished fifth in her heat and 15th overall. Ivanique Kemp turned in a time of 13.74, the 21st-fastest overall time. Neither runner advanced to Saturday’s final.
Final-day action on the women’s side at the 2011 Texas Relays begins Saturday at 12 p.m. (CT). Along with the 4×400-meter relay, the Razorbacks will be represented in the ‘A’ section of the 1,500 meters by Paige Johnston. Competition in the field will include the pole vault and triple jump. For a full schedule, live results and interactive blog, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.