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Women's Track-Field

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.

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