Stripling wins vault at Florida Relays

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Making her 2009 outdoor debut, two-time All-American and SEC Champion Katie Stripling won the pole vault on day one of the Florida Relays, in Gainesville, Friday.

A junior from Jonesboro, Ark., she took the top spot in the vault with a clearance of 13-9.25. Her mark is a regional qualifier, ranks tied for second nationally and leads the SEC. She led a 1-4-6 finish for Arkansas in the event.

Senior Sarah Landau improved her regional mark from 12-11.5 to 13-1.5 with a fourth-place finish in the pole vault. Junior Janice Keppler was sixth with her clearance of 12-7.5, also the regional-qualifying height.

Arkansas also found success in the open 400 meters. Sophomore Shelise Williams was the top Razorback finisher with a personal-best time of 52.87. She finished sixth overall and third among collegians. Her time is a regional qualifier, ranks third nationally and third in the SEC.

Junior Karen Thomas finished 20th with a time of 55.57 while junior Courtenay Brown finished 28th, clocking a 56.52.

Freshman Whitney Jones finished 27th in the 100-meter dash with a clocking of 11.99.

The Florida Relays will resume Saturday with Arkansas competing in the 4×100-meter relay, the 4×400-meter relay and the sprint medley relay. For more information and complete results, visit or