Razorbacks back in action at the Arkansas Invitational

FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorbacks are hosting a 12-team field at the Arkansas Invitational on Friday, Jan. 14 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The first field event starts at 12pm while the running events start at 2:30pm

A pair of Big 12 schools, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State join the Razorbacks along with Alcorn State, Allen CC, Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Butler CC, Central Arkansas, Coffeyville CC, Oral Roberts and Tulsa.

The meeting will be streamed live on SEC Network+ starting at 2:30 p.m. via this link: https://www.espn.com/watch/player?id=5a868482-fc78-4206-81bd-61c92251445c

Live results are available at this link: https://results.flashresults.com/2022_01-14_ArkInvite/index.htm

“It’s one of those get-togethers where we get our feet wet, brush off the holiday rust and take the opportunity to compete,” said Arkansas women’s assistant head coach Chris Johnson. “We want to have a little fun, stay healthy and prepare for the bigger and better encounters down the line. This is a step to get better.”

A number of Razorback rookies who were untied at December’s Wooo Pig Classic will compete in an Arkansas uniform for the first time on Friday.

“There’s a variety of situations among the newcomers coming up this week,” Johnson noted. “Some are transfers and some are from high school. As an SEC school, our expectations and preparations are different. So for them everything is a little bit different.

“We want to see them adapt and acclimate to the environment, get into a routine and get them focused on competing like an SEC athlete. So it’s an assessment to see what we need to improve or change to make them feel comfortable in a competitive environment.”

A team of six Razorback pole vaulters will be looking to continue their progress after a solid start in December when they finished 1st, 2nd, = 4th, 7th, 8th, 10th. Elien Vekeman led the roster with a career-best 14-1.25 (4.30). and set the Belgian U23 indoor record.

Arkansas-based Tresor crew also includes Nastassja Campbell, Bailee McCorkle, Kaitlyn Banas, Mackenzie Hayward and Grace Ridgeway.

A group of four Razorbacks compete in the mile including Gracie Hyde and the Arkansas track debuts for Julia Paternain, Sydney Thorvaldson and Heidi Nielson.

Jada Baylark, who was just a tenth of a second from her career best with a 7.25 win at the Wooo Pig Classic, is the only Arkansas sprinter to compete in the 60m. However, in the 200m, five Razorbacks will compete in a field of 49 sprinters. The crew includes Morgan Burks-Magee, Rosey Effiong, Daszay Freeman, Joanne Reid and Alexis Torns, who will also compete in the triple jump.

Shafiqua Maloney is scheduled to run the 400m and 800m. She is joined in the 400m by Paris Peoples and two newcomers in Ashanti Denton and Britton Wilson. Quinn Owens will compete in the 800m with Maloney. The 60m hurdles will feature Freeman, Jayla Hollis and Yoveinny Mota for the Razorbacks.

After a solid cross-country season this fall, newcomer Carmie Prinsloo will make her indoor debut in the 1,000m, while Paternain will also compete in the 3,000m.

Sydney Billington, who placed second in her debut with Arkansas in December, meets a field of 11 high jumpers. Multi-Eventer G’Auna Edwards is entered in the long jump and 600m. Edwards in the long jump is joined by Georgia Brain.

Pro athletes who will compete in the Arkansas Invitational include Shamier Little (600m), a Razorbacks volunteer assistant, Sharika Nelvis (60m), Cindy Sember (60 hurdles) and Christina Clemons (60m).

Current world rankings at the end of the year compiled by Athletics News For the 2021 season, Little placed fourth in the 400 hurdles and ninth in the 400, and she finished third in the US rankings in both events. In the 100 hurdles, British hurdler Sember placed seventh while Clemons placed 10thth in the world and second in the US

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