Arkansas improves world best in 4x400 relay to cap team victory
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks closed out the Wooo Pig Classic with a world-leading performance in the 4×400 relay in what may have been a preview of the NCAA Indoor final in March. It was one of many highlights in another team victory by Arkansas at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
A tally of 129 points earned the team victory for the Razorbacks over Texas (72), LSU (64), Southern California (53), Kentucky (51), Oklahoma State (33) and Missouri (31).
“We cap off a great day with the 4×400 and run 3:32 against a great field,” stated Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “USC, Texas and Kentucky are always greatly respected sprint powers.
“If you can win an event here today, you we’re going to have to knock off some type of an All-American status. This sprint field, especially, was loaded.”
The potent Razorback relay included Paris Peoples (52.71), Tiana Wilson (53.42), Morgan Burks-Magee (53.05) and Rosey Effiong (53.00) as they churned out a scintillating 3:32.18 to win the showdown with USC (3:32.44), Kentucky (3:33.48) and Texas (3:41.35).
Equally as impressive was the sheer dominance by Arkansas in the 3,000m as Lauren Gregory paced a first through sixth place finish in 9:01.44, the current collegiate leader in 2021 which ranks third in the world.
Logan Morris followed in 9:09.45, which moved her to No. 8 on the UA all-time list with her 18-second PR. In third place was Katie Izzo at 9:12.62 while Gracie Hyde produced a 24-second career best in fourth place with a 9:23.27. Closing out the group were Abby Gray (9:27.20) and Taylor Ewert (9:27.79), with a 13-second PR.
“We finish things off with a great 3,000m led by Lauren Gregory,” said Harter. “Logan Morris and Katie Izzo had great races. Then our second wave of Gracie, Abby and Taylor, all had personal bests by startling amounts.”
Shafiqua Maloney improved her national record in the 800m with a stellar 2:05.52, which moves her to No. 7 on the Razorback all-time list. Maloney’s previous record for St. Vincent and the Grenadines stood at 2:08.19 from 2020.
Kennedy Thomson posted a strong double performance as runner-up in the mile and 800m. She ran the mile in a PR of 4:41.48 ahead of Quinn Owen (4:45.33) and Isabel Van Camp (4:46.46), who placed fourth and fifth. Then in the 800m, Thomson clocked a career best of 2:07.41.
G’Auna Edwards had a leap of 20-3.5 (6.18) as runner-up in the long jump.
Nastassja Campbell led the Razorback vaulters with a clearance of 14-2 (4.32) to place third as LSU’s Lisa Gunnarsson won the event with a height of 14-9 (4.50). Arkansas occupied places third through seventh place. Bailee McCorkle (13-10) and Elien Vekemans (13-6.25) were fourth and fifth.
Prior to her relay anchor Effiong generated career best times in the 200m and 400m. Her 23.40 placed fifth, behind a 23.35 for Jayla Hollis in third place, and she was fifth in the 400m in 53.14 as Burks-Magee finished third in 52.81.
Jada Baylark (7.32) and Wilson (7.36) were third and fourth in the 200m. Daszay Freeman led an Arkansas 4-5-6 effort in the 60m hurdles, clocking an 8.27 ahead of Hollis (8.31) and Yoveinne Mota (8.34). Hollis set another career best and moved to No. 10 on the Arkansas all-time list while Mota’s time ranks 11th.
“The improvements from last week to this week has just been massive,” noted Harter. “Again, we’re training hard through the sessions. We are four to five weeks away from the SEC meet, so I think we’re right on schedule. I’m pleasantly surprised with the position we are in right now.”