FAYETTEVILLE — Defending national champion Arkansas opened the team’s 2020 indoor season with a solid start on Friday night inside Randal Tyson Track Center.
The Razorbacks’ roster has a different look to it opening the indoor season compared to a year ago when the squad captured national championships in indoors and outdoors.
But Lance Harter’s program is not rebuilding, simply reloading.
“As coaches, we’ve realized how spoiled we were last year with one of the most talented teams in Arkansas history so having to reload with a lot of youth and transfers, we’ve had a really positive start,” Harter said. “Led off by our pole vaulters, Coach Compton continues the Arkansas dynasty there, complimented by some really good sprint crew and wrapped up with our 1,000-meter runners and our milers we had a good start to indoors. We look forward to the weeks to come as the competition level continues to rise.”
On the track
• Paris Peoples led the Razorbacks to a dominant performance in the 400-meters as Arkansas swept the top-three spots, including four of the top-five. Peoples won the title with a time of 54.29 with Morgan Burks Magee and Rosey Effiong following.
• Arkansas picked up another 1-2-3 sweep in the 800-meters in which Krissy Gear won her first race as a Razorback by almost eight seconds with Lainey Quandt and Alexandra Byrnes following behind.
• Kennedy Thomson and Maddy Reed led the pack the entire way as the two battled it out for a win in the 1000-meters. Thomson would hold off her Razorback teammate and took the title with a time of 2:47.79.
• Carina Viljoen (4:37.78) and Katie Izzo (4:39.64) ran away from the field in the mile as the Razorbacks swept the podium with Abby Gray (4:50.90) taking third. Viljoen’s and Izzo’s times are the top two in the nation in the mile this year.
• Arkansas’ 4×400 relay team wrapped up the night with a victory in 3:46.58 thanks to Morgan Burks Magee, Paris Peoples, Rosey Effiong and Shafiqua Maloney.
• Tiana Wilson took home third in the 60-meters, clocking 7.44 for a new personal best.
In the field
• California transfer and All-American Lauren Martinez won the pole vault title over Arkansas teammate Bailee McCorkle, clearing the bar at 13-11.25 (4.25M) in her first meet with the Razorbacks. Kaitlyn Banas finished in a tie for third with a height of 12-11.5 (3.95M).
• After redshirting last year’s indoor season, sophomore G’Auna Edwards was a double winner at the spring season opener. Edwards just beat out Razorback teammate Daszay Freeman by .05 in the 60mH and won the high jump title in her first time competing in the event at Arkansas.
The Razorbacks return to the track next weekend at Clemson for the Clemson Invitational before hosting the Razorback Invitational inside Randal Tyson Track Center on Feb. 1.
Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.