COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A record victory for Katie Izzo guided a 17-point production for Arkansas in the 5,000m at the SEC Indoor Championships on Friday inside Gilliam Stadium and the Razorbacks closed out the first day with collecting gold in the distance medley relay.
Through five of the 17 finals, No. 3 Arkansas leads the conference meet with 36 points over Texas A&M (28), Georgia (27), Tennessee (21) and Alabama (19).
“All in all, we had a fantastic day, but we’re still in a battle with LSU,” Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter said. “They had a good day as well and advanced the people they thought they would advance. We’ve given them all the points we think they can get and now it’s a situation of can we hold them off.”
Izzo’s winning time of 15:48.34 broke the meet record of 15:53.34 set in 1990 by Kentucky’s Valerie McGovern. Runner-up to Izzo in the race was Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat, who posted a 15:53.97, while Razorback teammate Devin Clark secured the bronze medal with a 15:59.09 performance. Abby Gray added a point in placing eighth at 16:19.84.
“Everyone coming in kind of expected Katie to win the 5,000m, but it was really a pleasant performance for Devin Clark to grab third place and beat a heck of a field that were seeded ahead of her,” Harter said. “Abby held on for eighth place, so we got a triple-score out of that event.”
Izzo stated: “I’m so, so happy. The goal coming in was to just race my heart out. I didn’t want to leave the race with any regrets. Just being able to get those 10 points along with the other points scored by Devin and Abby were huge for our team.
“With every win and top performance we feed off each other. I’m so happy to contribute to that.”
Finishing off the first night of the league championships, the Razorbacks distance medley relay generated a winning time of 11:19.51 to defeat Missouri (11:23.80), Tennessee (11:24.59) and Alabama (11:27.42)
Arkansas ran with a crew of Carina Viljoen (3:26.24), Morgan Burks-Magee (54.64), Kennedy Thomson (2:10.15) and Krissy Gear (4:48.48).
G’Auna Edwards earned the first points of the meet for the Razorbacks in placing third in the pentathlon with a career best score of 4,047 points. Edwards improved her previous best tally of 4,004 from earlier this season. Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens won the title with 4,391 points while Georgia’s Anna Hall claimed silver with 4,166 points.
Edwards then picked up more points by finishing sixth in the long jump with a mark of 20-3 ½ (6.18).
In qualifying races, Maddy Reed (4:50.82) and Gear (4:50.90) controlled the first prelim section of the mile, and placed 1-2 to reach the final while Viljoen advanced on time from the other section in 4:54.37. Quinn Owen posted a time of 4:55.55 to place 11th overall with 10 runners advancing.
At 800m, Thomson (2:08.50) and Shafiqua Maloney (2:09.28) each set career best times in advancing to the final. The time for Maloney improves her St. Vincent national record.
A career best of 8.18 second propelled Daszay Freeman into the finals of the 60m hurdles. Paris Peoples snared the final position in the 400m final with a 53.03 effort.
RAZORBACKS QUALIFYING TO FINAL
400: Paris Peoples, 53.03.
800: Kennedy Thomson, 2:08.50; Shafiqua Maloney, 2:09.35.
Mile: Maddy Reed, 4:50.82; Krissy Gear, 4:50.90; Carina Viljoen, 4:54.37.
60m hurdles: Daszay Freeman, 8.18.