Arkansas Builds Toward Championship Season
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks took advantage of prime conditions at John McDonnell Field to produce an excellent home meet. The No. 2 team in the nation closed out the regular season with several athletes moving up the program record list with personal bests.
Sophomore Taliyah Brooks broke a 23-year-old school record in the long jump. Brooks leapt into a headwind and still posted a 20-11 3/4 eclipsing a mark of 20-10 set by Toshei Woods in 1993.
Brooks returned to the track and teamed up with Taylor Ellis-Watson, Daina Harper and Kiara Parker for the 4-x-100. The team raced for the second-fastest time in school history at 43.85 just a hundredth of a second behind the school record of 43.84.
Damajahnee Birch became the fastest freshman in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles. Birch carried momentum from a strong start to boost her into a tie for the second-fastest time in program history with a personal record of 56.46.
Monisa Dobbins and Ceara Watson pushed themselves to impressive races in the 400 as they shattered lifetime bests. Dobbins and Watson both knocked off 1 second from their top times running 53.56 and 53.61, respectively.
The Razorbacks will journey to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on May 12-14 as the Crimson Tide hosts the 2016 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Sam Bailey Stadium.
Victorious in SEC competition during the 2015-2016 cross country and indoor season, Arkansas will look to cap off the final conference meet of the year with a team win resulting in a perfect 3-0 championship record. A triumph next weekend will mark the second time the program has won back-to-back Triple Crowns.
Coach Harter sounds off
“We had good solid hundreds and two hundreds. Also,the hurdles and quarters went really well. Ceara Watson had a huge PR in the quarter and Monisa Dobbins had another lifetime best in the quarter. That depth is really starting to develop. We have Taylor (Ellis-Watson) and those people, but now our people that are more of the developmentals, the freshman and so on, are really catching fire. Dede (Damajahnee Birch) and Brianna Swinton in the 400-meter hurdles both ran lifetime bests. To have those type of performances is really special.”
Coach Johnson sounds off
“Starting with Taliyah (Brooks), she did a great job. There were some things we saw at practice that showed us she could do that. She got hurt at the last home meet so for her to overcome that and get back out on the track and set a PR for herself and set a school record was fantastic. As far as Dede (Damajahnee Birch), it was a perfect night to run. She went out and executed a great race. The consistency in training is finally paying off. For Ceara and the others this was basically a training meet to work on speed. She executed the race well, set it up well and got it done. I think it is going to bode well for her confidence going into the conference meet. We had Taliyah step up in the 4-x-100 and change the order of the relay. It matched up well for what we thought it was going to be.”
Results – Arkansas Twilight
100 – T. Ellis-Watson (1) 11.45, K. Parker (2) 11.55, K. Herman (3) 11.66, J. Williams (5) 12.36, S. Hammit (7) 12.57, K. McCarthy (8) 12.61
200 – D. Harper (1) 23.95, T. Brooks (3) 24.45, K. McCarthy (8) 25.47
400 – M. Dobbins (3) 53.56, C. Watson (4) 53.61
800 – N. Hiltz (3) 2:06.42, T. Haiss (7) 2:11.69
1,500 – A. Worden (5) 4:36.59, L. Bishop (6) 4:37.79, K. Schrader (8) 4:42.01, S. Herman (9) 4:46.79, K. Adams (10) 4:47.80, G. Taylor (11) 4:52.96
100H – A. Gochenour (1) 13.72, K.Herman (2) 13.72, J. Williams (3) 14.13
400H – D. Birch (1) 56.46, B. Swinton (2) 58.52
3KSC – R. Ward (1) (Unattached) 10:13.06, R. Nichwitz (2) (Unattached) 10:44.65
4-x-100 – T. Brooks, T. Ellis-Watson, D. Harper, K. Parker (1) 43.85
High Jump – L. Brown (2) 5-5, A. Gochenour (3) 5-5, Carmen Sitz (4) 5-3, Alyssa Parker (5) 5-1
Pole Vault – D. Freir (2) (Unattached) 14- 0 1/2, M. Zimlich (3) 13-7 3/4, T. Weeks (4) 13-7 3/4, E. Bates (5) 11-7, R. Robinson (6) 11-7, S. Diettinger (7) 10-3 1/4
Long Jump – T. Brooks (1) 20-11 3/4, Kelsey Herman (2) 19-11 1/2
Shot Put – M. Dennis (1) 52-7 1/2, L. Brown (2) 40-4
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.