FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas wrapped up action at the Razorback Invitational scoring 145.5-points en route to the team title Saturday afternoon at Randal Tyson Indoor Track.
“It was across the board,” said coach Lance Harter. “Obviously our sprints, Chris Johnson put on a clinic today. The 60-meters, the 60-meter hurdles, the 200-meters last night was fantastic.
“The vault always takes care of business, we had three vaulters compete absolutely fantastic last night, but then our fourth vaulter last night (Bailee McCorkle) was a big breakthrough.
“Then we come back with the pentathlon and welcome back Kelsey [Herman] after being off for a year to take care of some leg issues and she opens up with a national qualifying mark.”
Kiara Parker and Jada Baylark advanced to the final of the event with times of 7.18 and 7.33, respectively.
Parker not only broke the school record time of 7.20 set by Veronica Campbell in 2004, but she also recorded the fourth-fastest time in the world this season.
The final would see the senior from Waldorf, Maryland, shave even more time off as she blew away the field with her winning time of 7.15 that not only was a meet record, program record, and personal-best but is currently tied for the world lead in the event with USC’s Twanisha Terry who recorded her time yesterday in Lubbock, Texas at the Texas Tech Classic.
From the 60-meter flat, to the 60-meter hurdles it was the Payton Chadwick show as the defending NCAA Champion in the event was the fastest on the track from prelims to finals where she recorded times of 8.02 and 8.01, respectively to take the title.
Teammate Janeek Brown, a 2018 NCAA All-American in the event finished second in the finals running 8.02. The Razorback duo is currently ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in the world this season in the event.
In the women’s 400-meters invitational, Morgan Burks-Magee led the way running 53.12 for third-place while teammate Tiana Wilson — a true freshman — clocked 53.80 in the event to take fifth in the event.
“Our 4×400-meter relay came back and ran 3:31.26, which is a huge PR from where they were earlier in the season,” Harter said.
Burks-Magee and Wilson would return to the track to cap the meet running the 4×400-meter relay where the Razorbacks took the title running the No. 2 time in the NCAA of 3:31.26, trailing USC’s 3:31.25 that they ran just a few minutes earlier in Lubbock, Texas. Burks-Magee turned in the fastest-split of the event running 51.64 on the second leg of the Arkansas relay.
“Then the distances, you have Taylor [Werner] in the 3,000-meters and our two milers just ran crazy fast. I have a lot of respect for Dominic Scott and Christin Wurth-Thomas. Both are Olympians, but these two (Lauren Gregory/Carina Viljoen) opened up right off her school record,” said Harter.
Taylor Werner her season with a near-PR performance in the 3,000-meters demolishing the field with the second-place finisher crossing the line more than 17-seconds after she finished. Werner currently holds the No. 1 mark in the NCAA and No. 5 in the world in the event this season.
The mile duo of Gregory and Viljoen held tough with the NCAA defending champion at 1,500-meters Jessica Hull who won the event in 4:31.03 turning in times of 4:32.92 and 4:33.88 themselves, destroying their previous-best marks in the event.
“So across the board, I think we had lots of breakthroughs,” Harter continued. “Tonight when I talk to the team I’ll have to put things into perspective – ‘ladies we’re now a best for the SEC, but now we’re also a best for the NCAA, oh yeah now we’re a best for the world.’ Our two hurdlers being 3-4 in the world, man that’s rarefied air and it’s so nice to have them on our team.”
Arkansas will split the squad three ways next week as the Razorbacks travel to the New Mexico Classic, the Charlie Thomas Invitational, and the New York Armory Feb. 1-2.