Stripling Wins Pole Vault Lady?Backs Second at SEC Championships
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sophomore Katie Stripling won the pole vault for Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field on day three of the SEC Championships at Auburn University.The Cardinal and White sit at second in the team standings with 52.5 points after nine events have been scored. The Lady’Backs also tallied four qualifiers, in addition to the one from Friday night, for Sunday’s finals."We’ve been scrapping for points in every event," head coach Lance Harter said. "Shelise Williams advanced in the 400 meters which was a pleasant surprise. We got our two 1,500-meter runners in the finals. The 5,000 meters has to be a big event for us tomorrow."Stripling led a quartet of vaulters that scored 19.5 points for the Lady’Backs. Stripling cleared 13-6.5 to take the title and is the first Lady’Back to win an indoor and outdoor SEC pole vault title in the same season."This is a great win," Stripling said. "I’m really excited about it. I was trying to be as prepared as possible on the runway and I tried to stay aggressive."Sarah Landau finished fourth, clearing 12-11.5. Tara Diebold was sixth (12-7.5) and Kristen Keith was seventh (12-1.5). All three made their SEC outdoor debuts this weekend."Katie (Stripling) fought really well," assistant coach Bryan Compton said. "It was a little nervous in this situation. We got behind the Alabama jumper, which we aren’t used to. Katie did a good job of coming back and doing what she had to do to win."Arkansas scooped up nine important points in the steeplechase with fourth- and fifth-place finishes from Caroline Peyton and Megan Jackson, respectively. Peyton clocked a 10:44.68 while Jackson was quickly behind her in a time of 10:44.77.Arkansas scored four points from the javelin throw. Peter-Gaye Beckford, competing in her second event of the championships, earned a sixth-place finish with a toss of 145-7, a regional-qualifying mark. Kelsey Mollenkamp marked a throw of 128-8, good for an eighth-place finish.Beckford also competed in the long jump, her third event of the competition. She earned a fourth-place finish with another regional-qualifying mark of 20-2.25. Etienne Chaplin was 13th, leaping 18-8."Peter-Gaye has been an absolute workhorse for us," Harter said. "She goes from event to event and picks up points here and there. She has two more events for us tomorrow."Arkansas picked up two qualifiers in the 1,500 meters. Dacia Barr automatically advanced to the finals after finishing in the top four of her heat. She clocked a time of 4:25.90. She is the fifth-fastest qualifier entering the finals.Jillian Rosen was right behind her with a time of 4:27.76. She finished ninth overall and advanced on time.Makeatha Cooper qualified for the 100-meter hurdle finals after finishing eight in the prelims with a time of 13.60. Shelise Williams finished ninth overall in the 400-meter prelims with her clocking of 54.34, a regional-qualifying mark, and advanced to the finals.For a recap and complete results of the SEC Championships, visit www.ladybacks.com.