A portion of the Razorback squad will open the outdoor season at the 94th Texas Relays held at Mike A. Myers Stadium this Thursday through Saturday, March 24-26.
Arkansas sprinters, hurdlers and vaulters are entered in the meet which features numerous elite fields. The Razorbacks are also scheduled to contest the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
“We’re looking forward to the Texas Relays, traditionally it’s our opener for the outdoor season,” said Arkansas associate head coach Chris Johnson.
“We’ll run a couple of relays and try to get a couple of individual things done. It’s been a little cool here, so to get over there in some nice weather and be able to sprint outside is much needed.”
Live results will be available through pttiming.com at the following link: https://relays.texassports.com/.
Live coverage of the Texas Relays will be available on the Longhorn Network at the following times:
|Thursday||6 to 9 p.m.||https://es.pn/36nBqoV|
|Friday||9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.||https://es.pn/3IxIn43|
|Friday||5 to 10 p.m.||https://es.pn/3uigs2H|
|Saturday||Noon to 4 p.m.||https://es.pn/3tygjt4|
Arkansas registered four wins in 2021 at the Texas Relays, claiming the 100m (Tiana Wilson, 11.12), 400 (Paris Peoples, 51.67), pole vault (Nastassja Campbell, 14-9.5), and 4×400 relay with a 3:26.63 from a foursome of Peoples, Kethlin Campbell, Morgan Burks-Magee, and Shafiqua Maloney.
“It’s a great event and being from Texas we can be a little biased, and we think it’s one of the best relay meets in the country,” stated Johnson of attending the Texas Relays. “The weather is good, the athletes and performances are always great, and the atmosphere is fantastic.
“Then you add the dimension of the high school teams and the element of the recruiting piece to it as well. Texas is a great track state and Arkansas gets exposure for those Texas kids to see what we’re capable of doing. They get a first-hand look at the Razorbacks competing in the Texas Relays. Sometimes that’s rare to do among a big high school meet. We recruit Texas hard and have a lot of kids from Texas on our team.”
In addition to being the defending champion in the Sanya Richards-Ross Invitational 4×400, the Razorbacks stroll into the Texas Relays as the current world leaders from their indoor collegiate record of 3:24.09 set in winning the SEC Indoor title. The impressive mark even bettered the Arkansas outdoor school record of 3:25.48.
Joining the Razorbacks in the Invitational 4×400 relay are Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kansas, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.
“We are in the Sanya Richards-Ross Invitational section of the 4×400, so we will try to line-up a really good team to vie for the win there,” noted Johnson. “Last year seems like a long time ago in terms of being defending champions. To win at Texas Relays, being a Texan myself, it’s always good to go back home and get a win. This weekend will be the start of the development of what we are trying to get accomplished in the outdoor season.
“It was awesome for Arkansas to be recognized as the world leader during the recent World Indoor Championships. It’s a testament to the girls and the performance they produced at the SEC Indoor meet. During a conference meet you don’t really expect to set a collegiate record, be a world leader during a World Indoor year, and sustain the world lead through the indoor season. Setting a collegiate is something special and it’s a moment in time that you can always appreciate.”
Thursday competition will include the pole vault at 2:30 p.m. along with the prelims of the 400m hurdles at 4:30 p.m. Racing in the 800m Invitational, scheduled for 7:05 p.m., will be Quinn Owen along with Razorback alum Shafiqua Maloney in her first post-collegiate race.
A trio of Razorback vaulters entered includes Kaitlyn Banas, Amanda Fassold, and Mackenzie Hayward. Fassold will be making her debut in a Razorback uniform after competing unattached during the indoor season after transferring from Azusa Pacific. Fassold improved her career best to 14-5.5 (4.41) indoors.
After an impressive indoor season by Britton Wilson in the 400m, which included breaking the UA record with a 50.88 as runner-up in the SEC Indoor final, she moves to the 400m hurdles outdoors.
Wilson’s best collegiate time in the 400m hurdles is 58.68 to win the event at the 2021 Tennessee Relays when she was a member of Tennessee program. In high school she posted a career best of 56.36.
“Individually, Britton Wilson will debut in the 400m hurdles,” said Johnson. “She had a fantastic indoor season in the open 400m. This will be her first hurdle race in a year’s time, but I think the strength and speed that she has been able to add since she’s been here will greatly help.
“Obviously, speed is kind of a hindrance since there is a barrier involved, and she will have to negotiate the barrier and clean up some technical aspects of the race. We’ve been doing a little work here. I think, just opening up, we’re not going to put any big expectation. We want to get through the race clean, make it to the final, try to have two solid runs and go from there.”
Racing begins at 9:35 a.m. on Friday morning with prelims in the 4×100 relay, which will be followed by prelims in the 100m hurdles and 100m.
Arkansas’ 100m hurdle crew includes Jayla Hollis and Joveinny Mota, while Jada Baylark and Joanne Reid contest the 100m. Mota represented Venezuela this past weekend during the World Athletics Indoor Championships where she improved her national record in the 60m hurdles with times of 8.05 and 7.99 prior to clocking 8.05 again in the final to place fifth.
Friday evening events, starting at 5:30 p.m., include the Invitational 400m hurdles, which features Razorback volunteer Shamier Little, along with the University division final. Last season Little produced a career best of 52.39 in the 400m hurdles, fourth best in the world for 2021.
Finals in the 4×100 and 4×400 relay will be held on Saturday along with finals in the 100m hurdles and 100m.
A few Razorbacks will also be competing in the Texas State Bobcat Invitational this weekend in San Marcos, Texas. The group includes Sydney Billington (high jump), Alexis Torns (triple jump), Grace Ridgeway (pole vault), and Bailee McCorkle (pole vault).
|2:30 p.m.||Pole Vault – Kaitlyn Banas, Amanda Fassold, Mackenzie Hayward|
|4:30 p.m.||400H – Britton Wilson|
|7:05 p.m.||800m Invitational – Quinn Owen, Shafiqua Maloney (unat)|
Friday | March 25
|9:35 a.m.||4×100 Relay – Jada Baylark, Joanne Reid, Jayla Hollis, Daszay Freeman, Rosie Effiong, Yoveinny Mota|
|10:15 a.m.||100m Hurdles – Jayla Hollis, Yoveinny Mota|
|10:45 a.m.||100m – Jada Baylark, Joanne Reid|
|5:30 p.m.||400m Hurdles Invitational – Shamier Little (adidas)|
Saturday | March 26
|1:35 p.m.||4×100 Relay – Jada Baylark, Joanne Reid, Jayla Hollis, Daszay Freeman, Rosie Effiong, Yoveinny Mota|
|2:20 p.m.||100m Hurdles FINAL – Jayla Hollis, Yoveinny Mota|
|3:15 p.m.||100m FINAL – Jada Baylark, Joanne Reid|
|4:55 p.m.||4×400 Relay Invitational – Rosey Effiong, Jayla Hollis, Paris Peoples, Britton Wilson|