FAYETTEVILLE – On day one of the Tyson Invitational Friday, junior Shelise Williams set her third school record of the week for No. 11 Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field.
Williams finished second in the 400 meters with a new Arkansas school record of 52.43. Her time is a personal best, ranks No. 2 in the NCAA and leads the SEC. Her time is an improved NCAA provisional qualifier and is just off the auto qualifier of 52.43.
"Every week, I just try to PR," Williams said. "I’m so happy to get this school record and get closer to the automatic time. I knew Natasha Hastings was going to go through 200 meters in a fast time and I just tried to stay with her. I’m trying to make big things happen at SECs and NCAAs and this is good step forward."
Williams replaced the previous 400-meter school record of 52.60, set by Jessica Cousins at the 2007 SEC Indoor Championships. In the last week, Williams has set school records in the open 400 meters, as the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay (3:33.18) and as the 400-meter second leg of the distance medley relay (11:06.56). Williams now holds the No. 1 (52.43) and No. 3 (52.72) marks on Arkansas’ all-time list.
"Shelise is just on a roll," head coach Lance Harter said. "She’s getting smarter and stronger with her racing every week. She’s really going to make a statement at the SEC and NCAA Championships. And she’s going to do it on her home track."
In the invitational sections of the mile, sophomore Kristen Gillespie clocked a personal-best and NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 4:43.91 to finish fifth. Sophomore Samantha Learch was 10th (4:53.46), senior Megan Jackson was 11th (4:54.38) and freshman Taylor Johnson was 20th (5:02.55).
Also in the 400 meters, freshman Regina George finished ninth (53.73), junior Edina Brooks was 17th (54.63), senior Karen Thomas was 49th (56.32) and freshman Martine Borge was 79th (58.26). In the invitational 800 meters, freshman Stephanie Brown was sixth (2:08.50), freshman Regina George was ninth (2:09.46) and freshman Natanya Luther was 17th (2:13.86).
Sophomore Whitney Jones finished third in the collegiate long jump. She marked a season best of 19-11.5. Junior Shantel Thompson finished 15th with her mark of 18-8.
Sophomore Tina Sutej finished fourth overall and first among collegians in the invitational pole vault. She cleared 14-1.75. Senior Katie Stripling was fifth with a height of 14-1.75. Senior Janice Keppler finished 11th with her clearance of 13-3.75.
The women’s track and field finalists for the 100 Years of the Razorback: Fan of the Century were recognized at tonight’s meet: Steve Whitelaw from Fayetteville, Okla., Veronica O’Brien from Fayetteville, Ark. and Ricky Crumpton from Fayetteville, Ark. O’Brien won the grand prize drawing that includes a travel bag of Razorback track and field equipment.