Thompson set national record in the hurdles

FAYETTEVILLE – Senior Tiavannia Thompson set a Bahamian national record in the 100-meter hurdles on Friday evening at the Arkansas Twilight Meet when she ran 13.26 to lead a 1-2-5-6 finish by University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks.

Thompson, who entered the meet with a season best of 13.59, dropped the mark by more than two-tenths. She also crushed her career best time by a full tenth and moved into 16th on the national descending order list with her race. Teammate Makeatha Cooper also ran a career best when she crossed the finish in 13.30 to take second.

“I am so proud of these young ladies,” Arkansas associate head coach Rolando Greene said. “Tia has been on the verge of this for several weeks in her training and for her to go out and execute was tremendous. She is grieving today as she received a phone call early this morning about a relative who passed away and almost didn’t run so I have to say that for her to go out and run that race on this day is something really special.”

Rounding out the Lady Razorback contingent in the hurdles was Megan Thompson who also clocked a career best 13.77 and Etienne Chaplin at 13.97.

Arkansas also added a qualifier to its growing list in the javelin where Kelsey Mollenkamp improved by nearly 10 feet with a toss of 146-4. Finishing second overall to teammate Carly Bloomfield, Mollenkamp’s toss was Arkansas’s 35th NCAA regional qualifier. Bloomfield’s winning throw of 154-2 was also of note as it was the fourth longest in Lady Razorback history.

Peter-Gaye Beckford made ripples in the triple jump when she popped Arkansas’s 36th NCAA mark. Competing in the event for the first time this outdoor season, Beckford easily surpassed the NCAA regional qualifier with her jump of 42 feet.

“The marks just keep coming,” head coach Lance Harter said. “This is a great way to go into the Southeastern Conference Championships. I feel really good about our team and if we can continue to race the way we have for the past three weeks could be a formidable team next weekend.”

Arkansas’s last addition to the list of NCAA qualifiers on Friday night was in the 400-meter run where Springdale, Arkansas, native Paige Farrell earned a spot in a second event. Already qualified in the 800 meters, Farrell ran 54.46 in the quarter-mile to finish second overall. Teammate Courtenay Brown finished third and just missed out on the NCAA qualifier by six-hundredths of a second when she ran 54.67.

The Lady Razorback pole vaulters also got some quality work in as all four competed in the heat of the afternoon. Senior Jodi Unger won the competition with a clearance of 13-3 ¾ and led a 1-2-3 Lady Razorback sweep. Stephanie Irwin finished second at 12-11 ¾ followed by Katie Stripling at 12-6. Sophomore Megan Scott finished fifth overall and cleared a career best 12-0 in the effort.

The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Thursday afternoon with the start of the Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.