Seventh consecutive SEC Indoor championship for Razorbacks
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In winning a seventh consecutive SEC Indoor championship, the No. 1 Arkansas Razorbacks totaled 141 points and bettered the conference field by 60 points.
Since the league expanded to 14 teams in 2012-13, this total for the Razorbacks was the second highest winning score, just 10 shy of the 151 points Arkansas scored in 2019, the last time they hosted the SEC Indoor meet.
“It takes a village and it was very much a combined effort,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “Our combined effort is a pretty formidable foe, to say the least, as a team. What we’re super excited about is that we were able to get through it relatively happy.
“We had some great breakthrough performances and added a few more individuals to the national lineup. We’ll just look forward coming back here in two weeks and see what the NCAA has to offer.”
The final day started with Krissy Gear producing the lone individual win for the Razorbacks as the claimed the mile after placing second in the race last season. Gear became the fourth consecutive Arkansas runner to win the SEC Indoor mile, joining Nikki Hiltz (2018), Lauren Gregory (2019) and Carina Viljoen (2020).
A 1-3-5-7 finish led to a haul of 22 points for the Razorbacks. Gear’s time of 4:34.72 led the Arkansas crew and she was followed by Gregory (4:35.72), Isabel Van Camp (4:40.20), and Gracie Hyde (4:41.53). Also finishing ninth was Kennedy Thomson (4:45.43).
Arkansas capped the stellar day with a school record in the 4×400 relay, which also broke the meet record set by LSU in 2005 and makes the Razorbacks the sixth fastest school in collegiate history.
Running a time of 3:28.50, the Razorbacks held off the challenge from Kentucky (3:28.82) with a quartet that included Morgan Burks-Magee (52.56), Rosey Effiong (52.58), Shafiqua Maloney (51.84), and Kethlin Campbell (52.02).
The performance bettered the UA record of 3:28.70 set at the 2015 NCAA Indoor and included Daina Harper, Sparkle McKnight, Chrishuna Williams and Taylor Ellis-Watson.
“That’s not our A team in the relay,” noted Harter. “Because of the tight schedule, Coach Johnson had to be creative. Everyone of them rose to the challenge. To knock off our school record, which is a special time, I’m super excited because the kids just did a fantastic job of rising.”
Ten Razorback points were scored in the 60m as Jada Baylark jetted to another career best of 7.18, moving into sole possession of the No. 2 mark on the UA all-time list, while Tiana Wilson (7.32) finished sixth.
The 400m crew collected a dozen points off a 3-5-7 finish from Burks-Magee, who set a career best of 52.10, moving to No. 4 time on the UA all-time list. Following were Effiong (52.30) and Paris Peoples (52.69).
Razorback hurdlers totaled 13 points off a 2-5-8 finish. Daszay Freeman clocked a career best of 8.07, moving to No. 4 on the UA all-time list, as Yovienny Mota lowered her best to 8.14, which improved her Venezuelan national record and moved her to No. 6 on the UA all-time list. Jayla Hollis ran 8.33 for eighth.
A career best of 2:03.12 earned Shafiqua Maloney a bronze medal in the 800 while Quinn Owen (2:09.26) earned a pair of points placing seventh. In the 200m, Baylark (23.19) led a trio of Razorback scorers in placing fifth while Wilson (23.46) and Hollis (23.78) finished seventh and eighth.
Arkansas rolled up 21 points in the 3,000m as Katie Izzo collected a second silver medal with a 8:56.55 performance while Gregory earned a bronze medal in 9:03.10. Logan Morris (9:10.25) and Abby Gray (9:11.01) finished fifth and sixth.
“It will be a tall order to try to defend both,” noted Harter of having the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Cross Country Championships within a span of four days in March. “The indoor has always been our priority, and we’ll look forward to that in two weeks. There are some great competitors from the SEC who will be rivals for us. Then, as we go from coast to coast, there are many a great team out there.”
This marked the eighth time for Arkansas men and women to sweep SEC Indoor titles since joining the league and it’s the fifth time to accomplish the feat since 2012-13 when the conference expanded to 14 schools.