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Arkansas Sweeps Razorback Invitational
Arkansas senior Grace Heymsfield (262) leads junior Dominique Scott on her way to winning the women's mile invitational in a school-record 4:34.22 during the Razorback Invitational Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Dominique Scott wasn’t supposed to run Saturday.
Two weeks removed from being named the National Runner of the Week and a day after winning the 5,000-meter run, the junior was assigned to pace Grace Heymsfield in the mile run.
The plan was for Scott to run only the first few laps of the mile, before dropping out and allowing Heymsfield to finish at the front of the pack alone.
Those plans changed just before the race.
“I asked (coach Lance Harter) before the race ‘Am I allowed to finish the race?’” Scott said. “I didn’t know how I was going to feel after the 5,000 last night, but I decided that my legs were fresh enough to run the last three laps.”
The result was the second- and third-fastest times in the NCAA this season by Heymsfield and Scott, respectively. Heymsfield’s time of 4:34.22 also broke the UA record in the mile.
Scott’s performance helped the No. 7 Arkansas women’s team win the Razorback Invitational at Randal Tyson Track Center with 151 points. The men’s team also won the event, with 153.5 points.
Both teams defeated five top 10 teams in the country, including Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M, which finished second in the men’s and women’s competition.
The Arkansas women finished five points ahead of No. 3 Texas A&M and the Aggies’ men’s team scored 116.5 points, finishing 37 points behind the Razorbacks.
“To have such great competition and have some of our best SEC foes come and join us, we had a really spectacular meet across the board,” Harter said.
Arkansas’ men were led by an NCAA season-best 5,923 points in the heptathlon by Kevin Lazas, who won four of the seven sections of the event.
The defending indoor national champion needed only 701 points in the 1,000-meter run, the final event in the heptathlon, to take the top mark in the country. He earned 812, toping the previous season-best by 112 points.
“Kevin is one of our leaders,” Bucknam said. “It’s great to see him get his mojo back. He looks good. I’m excited for him.”
Despite several members of the 4x400-meter relay team competing in events earlier in the day, leading to tired legs, the Razorbacks set a personal-record in the event. Running against a pair of the top teams in the world, Florida and Texas A&M, Arkansas finished second with a time of 3:05.02.
“All of the people on the relay did not feel like running,” said Jarrion Lawson, the lead-leg of the relay team. “But we got out there and took care of business.”
In the jumps, Raymond Higgs made his season debut, after missing the first two meets with a leg injury, and came in third in the triple jump, behind teammates Anthony May and Clive Pullen.
“(Higgs) looked good,” Bucknam said. “You’re going to see bigger jumps from Raymond, but at least now his leg is feeling good and he’s back up to full speed on the runway.”
Arkansas continued its dominance in the jumps with the high jump, where Noah Kettelson and Ken LeGassey finished first and second, respectively.
On top of Scott’s and Heymsfield’s performance, Regine Williams continued her hot start for the women’s team.
The freshman had won nearly every race she had entered before the Razorback Invitational. She did not win any races Friday or Saturday, but she did show improvement.
“Regine Williams has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Harter said. “She tested herself today with the best of the best from (Texas) A&M and Florida, who lead the nation.”
Her 7.32 seconds in the 60-meter dash preliminary race was a personal-best and she finished second in the 200-meter, just six-thousandths of a second behind Texas A&M’s Kyra Jefferson.
Harter said he was also pleased with the consistency of his pole vaulters and middle distance runners.
Ariel Voskamp and Megan Zimlich finished 1-2 in the pole vault, while Stephanie Brown came in third in the 800-meter run, with the fifth-fastest time in the NCAA this season. The Razorbacks also scored points in the 400-meter run, as Daina Harper finished fourth and Chrishuna Williams finished sixth.
The women’s team returns to action Feb. 7 at the Armory Collegiate Invite in New York City. Both teams will be back in Fayetteville Feb. 14 for the Tyson Invitational.