Razorbacks win track openers

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, January 17, 2021
Arkansas' Katie Izzo leads a pack of runners during the Arkansas Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
( Walt Beazley, Arkansas Razorbacks )
Arkansas' Katie Izzo leads a pack of runners during the Arkansas Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

The University of Arkansas women’s and men’s track and field teams opened the indoor season by sweeping titles at the Arkansas Invitational on Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville against a field that included several in-state colleges and Oklahoma.

The Arkansas women’s team won with 228 points, followed by Oklahoma (119) and Arkansas State University (60 1/3).

“No. 1, we’re super excited we got our opener out of the way and everybody is healthy,” Razorbacks women’s Coach Lance Harter said. “It’s a good, strong indicator that people took care of themselves during the holidays.”

Harding University scored 31 points to take fourth place in the women’s standings; the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and University of Central Arkansas tied for fifth with 24 points each; and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was seventh with 9 2/3.

The Arkansas women won eight events.

Junior Tiana Wilson took the 60 meters in 7.31 seconds and was second in the 200 in 23.38 behind teammate Jayla Hollis, who won in 23.31. Hollis also won the 60 hurdles in 8.394 to edge teammate Yoveinny Mota, who was second in 8.395.

The Razorbacks took the top three spots in the 400 with Morgan Burks-Magee (53.45), Paris Peoples (53.60) and Rosey Effiong (54.15). Arkansas also won the 1,600 relay.

“We’ve got depth and we’ve got talent,” Harter said of the sprints crew.

Also winning for the Razorbacks were Shafiqua Maloney in the 800 (2:08.60), Krissy Gear in the mile (4:38.22), Kennedy Thompson in the 1,000 (2:46.75) and Nastassja Campbell in the pole vault (14-1 1/4).

ASU got victories from Sophie Leathers in the 3,000 (9:523.53) and Sydney Lane in the high jump (5-7).

The Razorbacks won the men’s competition with 159 points, followed by Oklahoma (104), ASU (95), UCA (54), UALR (33), Harding (26) and UAPB (25).

“It was huge getting back into competition,” Arkansas men’s Coach Chris Bucknam said. “Even the week leading up to this was different.

“It was a very good meet for us. Anytime you win a meet that’s great. We’ve got a long ways to go, but certainly we jumped into the deep end and everything is good.”

The Arkansas men won seven events.

Razorbacks senior Amon Kemboi took the 1,000 in 2:23.49 to edge teammate Kieran Taylor, who was second in 2:23.98. Finishing in the next three spots were Razorbacks Gilbert Boit (2:25.65), Reese Walters (2:26.07) and Andrew Kibet (2:27.89).

Arkansas senior Markus Ballengee won the 60 hurdles in 7.87 seconds.

James Milholen, a Razorbacks junior, ran a career-best 46.85 to win the 400.

Also winning for Arkansas were Jaden Bartholomew in the 600 (1:18.72), John Baker in the long jump (25-0 3/4), Ryan Brown in the triple jump (52-4 1/2) and the 1,600 relay team.

Harding sophomore Dorian Chaigneau cleared 16-8 3/4 to win the pole vault and break a 32-year-old school record. The old mark of 16-6 was set by Jimmy Sloan in 1989.

ASU got victories from senior Eric Williams in the shotput (50-6) and senior Eron Carter in the weight throw (66-1 3/4).

UCA sophomore Max Nores won the 3,000 (8:21.52).

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