Chaplin qualifies in heptathlon

AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore Etienne Chaplin recorded the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team’s 20th NCAA qualifier on the second day of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Thursday when she scored 5,329 points in the heptathlon and notch a very good provisional mark.

Chaplin’s score is a personal best for the Michigan State transfer and should earn her a spot at the NCAA Championships in June based on last season’s qualifiers where it took just over 5,200 points to qualify.

“I am very proud of Etienne’s effort over the past two days,” Arkansas associate head coach Rolando Greene said. “She had her ups and downs, but in the end she scored 5,300 points and should have earned her ticket to the NCAA Championships. We’ll go back to Fayetteville and continue to work on the events where she struggled a bit this weekend and come back stronger and wiser in June.”

Beginning her day at the long jump pit, Chaplin flew to 18 feet, 10 ¾ inches to score 777 points. Her mark was the seventh best of the competition and kept her in seventh place in the overall standings. While not her career best in the event, her mark was a very good jump for the Chicago native.

The javelin competition was a struggle for Chaplin, but despite her throw of 106 feet, she only fell one place in the overall standings. Chaplin’s toss was the 15th best of the day by a heptathlete and could have been fatal to her chances to qualify had she not had huge results in several other competitions.

The heptathlon ended with the 800 meters and Chaplin’s effort on the final event was just as bold as that of her previous six. She ran a near career best 2:23.32 for the two-lap race and took seventh overall which is where she would end the competition.

Perhaps one of the most impressive numbers from Friday’s heptathlon was the fact that Chaplin’s second day point total of 2,076 was less than 200 from Arkansas’ school record of 2,269 set by former Lady’Back Gi-Gi Miller in 2000.

The Lady Razorbacks’ only other competitor on the day was freshman Jennifer Fall in the 400-meter hurdles. Racing for just the second time as a Lady Razorback in the brutal one-lap, 10 hurdle race, Fall clocked a career best 1:02.52 to finish 35th overall. In her race, Fall looked very smooth over the hurdles as she continues to improve her technique.

The Texas Relays continue on Friday morning with numerous event preliminaries including most of the relay competitions. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.