FAYETTEVILLE — Second-ranked Arkansas opens indoor season hosting the Arkansas Invitational on Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Field action starts at 12:30 p.m. with the high jump, while the 400-meters kick off the running events at 3:15 p.m.
At last year’s Arkansas Invitational Carina Viljoen was one of five Razorbacks to win their event on the track. Viljoen put down the fastest mile time in Division I at the time with a 4:47.11. 5.
Jada Baylark leads the sprint group this year and is in her fourth year of indoor action.
She’ll be in the hunt for more All-America honors after earning second-team All-America with her 15th-place finish in the 60-meters as a sophomore.
Last season, the Little Rock native posted 15 top-10 finishes in six meets during the indoor season. Baylark also qualified for the finals of the 60-meter dash at the 2019 Indoor SEC Championships.
Katie Izzo heads a distance squad that is coming off a cross country season that saw the program win its first national title. Her third-place finish (19:59.3) in Terra Haute, Indiana, last November led the Razorback effort, earning All-America distinction.
Izzo was selected to The Bowerman Preseason Watch List on last week.
Fans can grab an Arkansas women’s track and field poster, magnets and schedule cards at the gates, and the first 200 fans will also get a free Arkansas track & field water bottle.
Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.
Razorbacks pick up seventh straight SEC Indoor title Saturday
Arkansas won it’s 11th all-time SEC Indoor Championship and seventh in a row by scoring 141 team points at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
In winning a seventh consecutive SEC Indoor championship, No. 1 Arkansas totaled 141 points and bettered the conference field by 60 points.
Since the league expanded to 14 teams in 2012-13, this total for the Razorbacks was the second highest winning score, just 10 shy of the 151 points Arkansas scored in 2019, the last time they hosted the SEC Indoor meet.
“It takes a village and it was very much a combined effort,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “Our combined effort is a pretty formidable foe, to say the least, as a team. What we’re super excited about is that we were able to get through it relatively happy.
“We had some great breakthrough performances and added a few more individuals to the national lineup. We’ll just look forward coming back here in two weeks and see what the NCAA has to offer.”
The final day started with Krissy Gear producing the lone individual win for the Razorbacks as the claimed the mile after placing second in the race last season. Gear became the fourth consecutive Arkansas runner to win the SEC Indoor mile, joining Nikki Hiltz (2018), Lauren Gregory (2019) and Carina Viljoen (2020).
A 1-3-5-7 finish led to a haul of 22 points for the Razorbacks. Gear’s time of 4:34.72 led the Arkansas crew and she was followed by Gregory (4:35.72), Isabel Van Camp (4:40.20), and Gracie Hyde (4:41.53). Also finishing ninth was Kennedy Thomson (4:45.43).
Arkansas capped the stellar day with a school record in the 4×400 relay, which also broke the meet record set by LSU in 2005 and makes the Razorbacks the sixth fastest school in collegiate history.
Running a time of 3:28.50, the Razorbacks held off the challenge from Kentucky (3:28.82) with a quartet that included Paris Peoples (52.56), Rosey Effiong (52.58), Shafiqua Maloney (51.84), and Kethlin Campbell (52.02).
The performance bettered the UA record of 3:28.70 set at the 2015 NCAA Indoor and included Daina Harper, Sparkle McKnight, Chrishuna Williams and Taylor Ellis-Watson.
“That’s not our A team in the relay,” noted Harter. “Because of the tight schedule, Coach Johnson had to be creative. Everyone of them rose to the challenge. To knock off our school record, which is a special time, I’m super excited because the kids just did a fantastic job of rising.”
Ten Razorback points were scored in the 60m as Jada Baylark jetted to another career best of 7.18, moving into sole possession of the No. 2 mark on the UA all-time list, while Tiana Wilson (7.32) finished sixth.
The 400m crew collected a dozen points off a 3-5-7 finish from Morgan Burks-Magee, who set a career best of 52.10, moving to No. 4 time on the UA all-time list. Following were Effiong (52.30) and Peoples (52.69).
Razorback hurdlers totaled 13 points off a 2-5-8 finish. Daszay Freeman clocked a career best of 8.07, moving to No. 4 on the UA all-time list, as Yovienny Mota lowered her best to 8.14, which improved her Venezuelan national record and moved her to No. 6 on the UA all-time list. Jayla Hollis ran 8.33 for eighth.
A career best of 2:03.12 earned Shafiqua Maloney a bronze medal in the 800 while Quinn Owen (2:09.26) earned a pair of points placing seventh.
In the 200m, Baylark (23.19) led a trio of Razorback scorers in placing fifth while Wilson (23.46) and Hollis (23.78) finished seventh and eighth.
Arkansas rolled up 21 points in the 3,000m as Katie Izzo collected a second silver medal with a 8:56.55 performance while Gregory earned a bronze medal in 9:03.10. Logan Morris (9:10.25) and Abby Gray (9:11.01) finished fifth and sixth.
“It will be a tall order to try to defend both,” noted Harter of having the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Cross Country Championships within a span of four days in March. “The indoor has always been our priority, and we’ll look forward to that in two weeks.
“There are some great competitors from the SEC who will be rivals for us. Then, as we go from coast to coast, there are many a great team out there.”
This marked the eighth time for Arkansas men and women to sweep SEC Indoor titles since joining the league and it’s the fifth time to accomplish the feat since 2012-13 when the conference expanded to 14 schools.
Hogs go ‘beyond expectations’ advancing 18 to SEC finals
Arkansas scored 25 points on the second day of the SEC Indoor Championships, while advancing 18 entrants to Saturday’s SEC Indoor finals.
Arkansas scored 25 points on the second day of the SEC Indoor Championships, while advancing 18 entrants to Saturday finals at Randal Tyson Track Center.
Women’s coach Lance Harter was surprised.
“That’s beyond any expectations, to say the least,” said Harter. “The SEC is so loaded and talented, and to be able to step up in very challenging prelims and have 18 of 19 entrants advance that is beyond any person’s wildest dreams.
“We had some kids run some lifetime bests, and definitely season best marks. So, the number of scoring opportunities we have tomorrow are better than anyone else here. The kids did a great job today to take care of tomorrow.”
Current team scores, through 7 of 17 events, have Arkansas in third place with 37 points. Georgia leads with 49 points while Ole Miss is second with 38. Following the Razorbacks are LSU (36), Texas A&M (23), Florida (22), Auburn (16.5), and Alabama (16).
Eleven points were scored by Arkansas in the 5,000m as well as the pole vault while three more were added in the long jump.
Katie Izzo finished second in the 5,000m while Abby Gray placed sixth. Izzo clocked 15:47.82 in finishing behind Auburn’s Joyce Kimeli, who won in a meet record of 15:46.88 to better the previous record of 15:48.34 set by Izzo in winning the 2020 title. Gray, who handled the early pacing duties, ran 16:24.08.
“The 5k was one of the best races I’ve seen in the 5,000 in a long time, tactically and talent-wise,” noted Harter. “There were four proven All-Americans sizing each other up. They made Abby Gray do most of the early journey-man’s work. When they put the hammer down Katie ended up finishing second by an eyelash.”
Three pole vaulters scored for Arkansas with Nastassja Campbell leading the trio with a clearance of 14-3¼ (4.35). Bailee McCorkle finished fifth with a clearance of 14-1¼ (4.30) while Mackenzie Hayward placed seventh at 13-9 ¼ (4.20).
“Eleven points in the pole vault came from three scorers and that is right on cue,” said Harter.
After claiming a pentathlon bronze yesterday, G’Auna Edwards returned to place sixth in the long jump with a mark of 20-9¾ (6.34).
Advancement from prelim races had the Hogs sending five in the mile, three each in the 200, 400 and 60 hurdles along with a pair in the 60 and 200.
The Razorbacks produced a plethora of career best times in advancing to the final across a range of events.
In the mile, Arkansas sent five runners to the final. Lauren Gregory (4:38.37) led the crew which included Isabel van Camp (4:38.88 PR), Gracie Hyde (4:42.08), Krissy Gear (4:42.18) and Kennedy Thomson (4:43.91).
The career best times set in the 60 hurdles by Daszay Freeman (8.10) and Jayla Hollis (8.15), moved the pair to No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, on the UA all-time list. Paris Peoples clocked a career best of 52.27, equal No. 5 on the UA all-time list, to lead three qualifiers into the 400m final.
In the 60, Jada Baylark (7.20) and Tiana Wilson (7.29) set PRs that moved them to equal No. 2 and No. 8 on the Razorback all-time list. Baylark’s performance matches the time Veronica Campbell-Brown set in 2004.
Baylark led an Arkansas trio advancing in the 200, posting a time of 23.09 that ranks her No. 6 on the UA all-time list, while Tiana Wilson set a best of 23.23, which is No. 7.
Saturday’s session for the women begins at 4:30 p.m. with field events while running finals start at 6 p.m.
Gear sets new school mark in mile leading Hogs to top team finish
Krissy Gear set a new school record in the mile at the Tyson Invitational as No. 1 Arkansas brought home the team title.
The second day of the Tyson Invitational provided more superlatives from the No. 1 Razorbacks as they claimed a fifth consecutive team victory this indoor season while the highlight performance was a school record in the mile by Krissy Gear.
Facing a field of nationally ranked teams, the Razorbacks produced another dominant team victory with 140 points, as Alabama (64) and Oregon (62) battled for the runner-up position. The rest of the field included Texas A&M (52), Texas (51), Florida (49), Florida State (42), and LSU (28).
“We’re super elated,” said Razorback women’s head coach Lance Harter. “We ran our DMR to get it qualified last night, so Krissy Gear came back in the mile today and rewrote the record book with a 4:31. She just did a fantastic job.
“We had a bunch of Razorbacks run lifetime bests behind her, so our depth really showed through between the 3,000 and DMR yesterday and coming back in the mile today. Everybody is walking away healthy, so we’re looking forward to even greater things in two weeks.”
Clocking a time of 4:31.83 to finish comfortably ahead of Alabama’s Amaris Tyynismaa (4:33.22), Gear surpassed the previous Arkansas school record of 4:32.48 set in 2015 by Dominique Scott on Kentucky’s oversized track. Gear’s previous best in the mile this season was a 4:38.22 from the Arkansas Invitational back in January while her career best was a 4:36.59 from 2020 in a race on the oversized track at Washington.
“It was a big confidence booster, I didn’t think I had it in me,” said Gear, who split 4:34.25 on the 1,600m leg of the distance medley relay Friday evening. “I went into it with a mindset of don’t think, just race. Obviously, our team is so deep, so it helped having teammates to push me up as well as others in the race. The field was so strong.”
The time by Gear ranks second among collegians this season as Colorado’s Sage Hurta ran 4:31.80 Saturday on an oversized track at Iowa State. Splits for Gear included 1:07.77, 2:17.56, and 3:26.95, while the last two laps were run in 64.89 with a final circuit of 32.17.
“When I looked at the scoreboard, I thought oh, I set a PR,” Gear noted. “There were so many PR’s listed for Arkansas as well as other teams. It was so exciting and I’m so happy. I asked if I was finally able to make the top 10 list, since I wasn’t able to do that last year. Then they told me my time was above Nikki Hiltz and Dom Scott.
“I really don’t have any words for that. To know that I’m on par where they were in college, I guess gives me hope for the future.”
Razorback teammates finishing behind Gear in places 3-4-7-9 included Lauren Gregory (4:34.19), Katie Izzo (4:34.39), Gracie Hyde (4:37.57), and Logan Morris (4:42.29).
Izzo moved to No. 7 on the Arkansas all-time list while Gregory has a better time of 4:32.92 which now ranks No. 4. Hyde added another career best to her impressive collection this indoor season.
In another section of the mile, Isabel Van Camp won with a career best of 4:43.65 with Taylor Ewert a step behind in a PR of 4:43.78. They placed 11th and 12th overall. Career best efforts were also attained by Quinn Owen (4:44.96) and Josie Carson (4:57.46), with Abby Gray (4:49.22) splitting their finish from another section.
A national record was broken in the 800m as Shafiqua Maloney won the race in 2:04.65, improving upon her previous mark of 2:05.52 as the national record holder for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Maloney’s splits in the victory included 30.53, 31.69 [1:02.22], 31.67 [1:33.89], 30.76.
Maloney nearly won by a full second over Florida’s Gabrielle Wilkinson (2:05.57) and Valery Tobias of Texas (2:05.65). Razorback Kennedy Thomson (2:09.74) finished ninth.
Another event area that provided a bulk of points was the pole vault where Bailee McCorkle won for the second consecutive week in leading an Arkansas 1-2-3-4-6 finish. This time McCorkle cleared 14-2 (4.32) while a pair of teammates joined her over 14 feet.
“In the pole vault we put together three vaulters over 14 feet with Bailee McCorkle gaining the win,” said Harter. “Then our 200m runners showed great depth. The momentum is in our favor.”
Nastassja Campbell and Mackenzie Hayward both vaulted over 14-0 (4.27) in placing second and third. Kaitlyn Banas (13-8 ¼ | 4.17) and Grace Ridgeway (12-6 ½ | 3.82) both set career best heights in placing fourth and sixth.
Jayla Hollis led the Razorback sprinters in the 200m, clocking a 23.25 to place fourth behind the trio of Kynnedy Flannel of Texas (22.73), Alabama’s Tamara Clark (22.89), and Talitha Diggs of Florida (22.94).
The Arkansas crew included Rosey Effiong (23.45), Jada Baylark (23.49), Tiana Wilson (23.66), Kethlin Campbell (23.97), Morgan Burks-Magee (24.02), and Daszay Freeman (24.96).
The 4×400 capped the Tyson Invitational with a collegiate record as Texas A&M won in 3:26.27 to break the previous mark of 3:27.03 in 2017. Finishing behind the Aggies were Texas (3:32.64), Florida (3:34.02) and Arkansas (3:36.46).
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.
- Fantasy Football Sunday3 months ago
Fantasy Football Sunday — w/ Joe Bartel of Rotowire
- Halftime1 year ago
???? Halftime Pod — Coaching carousel, new recruits/commits, Nikki Chavanelle and more!
- Halftime12 months ago
???? HALFTIME POD presented by Jeff’s Club House ???? 3/16/2020
- Halftime1 year ago
???? Halftime Pod — Auburn Tonight And National Signing Day Tomorrow
- Halftime8 months ago
🕛 HALFTIME POD presented by Jeff’s Club House 🐗 7/17/2020
- Halftime8 months ago
🕛 HALFTIME POD presented by Jeff’s Club House 🐗 7/13/2020
- Halftime7 months ago
🕛 HALFTIME POD presented by Jeff’s Club House 🐗 7/20/2020
- Halftime12 months ago
???? HALFTIME POD presented by Jeff’s Club House ???? 3/19/2020