Weeks Reclaims National LeadBY Joy Ekema-Agbaw January 21, 2017
NASHVILLE – The second-ranked Arkansas women’s track and field team picked up right where they left off on day two of the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, notching several top performances throughout the day.
Daina Harper and Tori Weeks were the top two student-athletes of the weekend, earning facility records in the 400-meter dash and pole vault, respectively, the latter of which is a new NCAA lead. The only vaulter to make it over 4.31m/14-1 3/4, Weeks elected to move on straight to slightly over her personal best mark of 4.42m/14-6. She solidified her claim over the NCAA lead with a first attempt clearance of 4.43m/14-6 1/4, bowing out of competition after three close attempts at 15 feet.
“She’s [Tori Weeks] been jumping really well in practice and got a PR at the first meet so we decided to go a centimeter over that,” assistant coach Bryan Compton said. “And then we thought ‘well we’ve got pretty much three more jumps left in us’ so we went for the 15-foot barrier. We’re going to start working with a little bit bigger poles, raising our grip a little bit and see if we can’t keep improving.”
Navigating the 300-meter oversized track, Harper also found success in the new Vanderbilt venue, clocking 52.72 over 400 meters to win the quarter-mile. Harper’s time currently ranks her as one of the top-four best collegiate performers in the 400 this season.
Additional Notable Performances
• 800: Freshmen middle-distance duo Damajahnee Birch (2:06.47) and Alexandra Byrnes (2:11.39) both finished inside the top 10, posting personal bests in the event. Birch’s performance is an NCAA top-10 time.
• 3,000: Back on track after a good mile effort in last night’s DMR, freshman Taylor Werner raced to a third-place finish, posting 9:16.52. Werner has the top time by a freshman in the event and sits third overall in the national rankings. Senior All-American Therese Haiss took on the lead, embracing the burden of setting a competitive pace which pulled three of her teammates including Werner to top-10 finishes.
Arkansas returns to the Randal Tyson Track Center next weekend for the highly anticipated and televised Razorback Invitational on Jan. 27-28 which will feature 14 of the best teams from across the country.
Indoor Home Slate
Arkansas Invitational, Friday, Jan. 13
Razorback Invitational, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28
Tyson Invitational, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-12
Arkansas Qualifier, Friday, Feb. 17
Vanderbilt Invitational Day Two
January 21, 2017
Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility (Nashville, Tenn.)
60 Meters (Prelims)
1. Kiara Parker – 7.50q
— Jada Baylark
60 Meters (Finals)
2. Kiara Parker – 7.51
1. Daina Harper – 52.72
6. Brianna Swinton – 55.17
11. Ceara Watson – 56.25
3. Damajahnee Birch – 2:06.47
9. Alex Byrnes – 2:11.39
4. Valerie Reina – 4:51.82
7. Carina Viljoen – 4:54.83
3. Taylor Werner – 9:16.52
5. Nikki Hiltz – 9:24.43
7. Therese Haiss – 9:31.72
9. Maddy Reed – 9:37.97
10. Sydney Brown – 9:38.82
29. Logan Bishop – 10:13.12
36. Grace Taylor – 10:30.29
60 Hurdles (Prelims)
3. Taliyah Brooks – 8.39q
5. Kelsey Herman – 8.50q
18. Leigha Brown – 8.74
20. Ashlee Moore – 8.82
60 Hurdles (Finals)
5. Kelsey Herman – 8.45
8. Taliyah Brooks – 8.59
1. Arkansas A (Birch, Swinton Harper, Watson) – 3:36.72
10. Arkansas B (Byrnes, Parker, Moore, Sawyer) – 3:54.20
1. Tori Weeks – 4.43m/14-6 1/4
7. Desiree Freier – 4.11m/13-5 3/4
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.