Hogs Women's Track-Field

Sweeps in pole vault, heptathlon power powers Hogs’ first day

Full Results (PDF) | Heptathlon Results (PDF)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Behind sweeps in the heptathlon and pole, Arkansas women’s track and field program took a big step towards capturing its 10th straight SEC title Friday with a 65-point day at the 2017 SEC Outdoor Championships.

The Razorbacks, who are also seeking their third consecutive SEC triple crown, will enter Saturday with a 43-point lead on Alabama (30) in second place.

Arkansas jumped into the lead thanks to 29 points in the heptathlon, as Razorbacks occupied the top four spots in the standings. In all, Arkansas’ five heptathletes won six of the seven events and combined to set 11 individual PRs.

Entering the day with a 79-point lead, redshirt junior Taliyah Brooks became the sixth Razorback and first since 2013 to win the SEC heptathlon. Brooks built on her own program record with 6,099 points via two wins and four PRs.

Already with a win in the high jump on Thursday, Brooks opened Friday by taking the long jump with a new personal-best of 21-0. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native was the only heptathlete in the field to finish in the top six of all seven events.

“I’m really excited to win the title, but I’m really happy with how the last two days went for all of us,” said Brooks. “I think this shows how strong we are as a multi group.”

Junior Payton Stumbaugh also surpassed 6,000 points en route to a second place finish behind Brooks.

Stumbaugh led the field with three wins out of the seven events, taking the 100-meter hurdles, 200 meters and 800 meters to close things out. Her 6,023 points are a new PR.

Senior Leigha Brown established four individual PRs and won the shot put to post 5,852 points for third place. Sophomore Kelsey Herman added another PR to her total on Friday to finish with three over the two days. She rounded out the Razorbacks in the top four spots with 5,820 points.

“To go one through four in the heptathlon is a precedent that’s never been duplicated and it may never be repeated,” coach Lance Harter said. “To have two over 6,000 points on the same team is rarefied air. That gives us a lot of confidence going into the national meet.”

Weather in the area delayed the start of the evening session by 35 minutes, but not until after the Arkansas trio of pole-vaulters had nearly completed their warm-ups.

The delay did not seem to bother the sophomore superstars, as Lexi Weeks, Tori Weeks and Desiree Freier were the last three left in the field after clearing 14-4.

Arkansas was the last SEC program to finish 1-3 in the pole vault in 2013.

“Coach Compton is back to his old ways,” said Harter with a smile. “The kid’s did a great job dealing with the wind that was in their face. That was a pleasant serenade to go 1-2-3. It was great coaching and that’s a group of tremendous athletes.”

Lexi and Tori Weeks each cleared 14-7 1/4 on their first try and moved the bar up to 15-1 1/2 in an attempt to take over the national lead.

Battling swirling winds, neither was able to get over the national-leading height, giving Lexi her second career SEC Outdoor title due to lower number of misses.

Lexi’s SEC Championship is the third of her career and marked the seventh straight SEC title for Arkansas pole-vaulters dating back to the 2014 outdoor championships. Tori won the SEC Indoors in late February.

The 29-point barrage in the heptathlon followed by the 24 points in the pole vault did not mean the Razorbacks were done for the day.

In the final event of the night, the 3000-meter steeplechase duo of junior Regan Ward and freshman Rachel Nichwitz combined for 12 points to cap the monster day.

Both established PRs with Ward posting a time of 10:08.23 to take second place and earn All-SEC second team honors. Nichwitz (10.21.04) bested her PR by nearly 13 seconds to take fifth place and score four points.

Team Standings
1. Arkansas – 73
2. Alabama – 30
3. Ole Miss – 27.5
4. Kentucky – 27
4. Georgia – 27
6. Tennessee – 21
7. Missouri – 13
7. Florida – 13
9. Texas A&M – 9
10. South Carolina – 8
11. Mississippi State – 7
12. Auburn – 6
12. LSU – 6
14. Vanderbilt – 5.5

Heptathlon
1. Taliyah Brooks – 6,099 points – Arkansas Record & PR
2. Payton Stumbaugh – 6,023 points – PR
3. Leigha Brown – 5,852 points – PR
4. Kelsey Herman – 5,820 points – PR
10. Ashlee Moore – 5,293 points

Pole Vault
1. Lexi Weeks – 14-7¼
2. Tori Weeks – 14-7¼
3. Desiree Freier – 14-4

Long Jump
13. Taliyah Brooks – 19-9

3000 Meter Steeplechase
2. Regan Ward – 10:08.23 – PR
5. Rachel Nichwitz – 10:21.04 – PR

Moving On
After collecting eight points with her runner-up finish in the heptathlon earlier in the day, Stumbaugh advanced through the 100-meter hurdle preliminaries and into Saturday’s final by taking the top non-automatic qualifying spot with a time of 13.24.

The 2017 SEC Indoor champ in the 400 meters, senior Daina Harper made it look easy in the first heat of the 400 meters with a time 51.36. Harper’s time held up as the top 400 time of the night, as she entered the weekend with the top time in the conference that posted at SEC Relays.

110 Meter Hurdle Prelims
7. Payton Stumbaugh – 13.24q
14. Kelsey Herman – 13.71

100 Meter Prelims
13. Jada Baylark – 11.40
19. Kiara Parker – 11.55

400 Meter Prelims
1. Daina Harper – 51.36Q
20. Sydney Hammit – 54.81 – PR
24. Sunkietra McCallister – 55.04

1,500 Meter Prelims
2. Carina Vijoen – 4:21.41Q
4. Nikki Hiltz – 4:21.66Q
10. Therese Haiss – 4:25.33Q

Complete Heptathlon Results
Taliyah Brooks
2. 100 Hurdles – 13.14 (1103 points) – PR
1. High Jump – 5-10¾ (978 points)
4. Shot Put – 39-4 (660 points) – PR
2. 200 Meters – 23.88 (992 points) – PR
1. Long Jump – 21-0 (975 points) – PR
6. Javelin – 119-5 (598 points)
5. 800 Meters – 2:22.9 (793 points)

Payton Stumbaugh
1. 100 Hurdles – 13.00 (1124 points)
5. High Jump – 5-7¼ (867 points)
8. Shot Put – 36-4¼ (600 points)
1. 200 Meters – 23.22 (1057 points) – PR
2. Long Jump – 20-0¼ (880 points)
3. Javelin – 122-4 (615 points)
1. 800 Meters – 2:15.91 (880 points)

Leigha Brown
5. 100 Hurdles – 13.57 (1040 points) – PR
3. High Jump – 5-8½ (903 points)
1. Shot Put – 43-8 (748 points) – PR
5. 200 Meters – 24.19 (963 points) – PR
7. Long Jump – 18-11¼ (780 points) – PR
7. Javelin – 115-11 (578 points)
3. 800 Meters – 2:18.81 (840 points)

Kelsey Herman
3. 100 Hurdles – 13.45 (1058 points)
2. High Jump – 5-9¾ (941 points) – PR
5. Shot Put – 39-0½ (654 points) – PR
3. 200 Meters – 23.91 (989 points)
4. Long Jump – 19-8¾ (853 points)
8. Javelin – 115-11 (578 points) – PR
10. 800 Meters – 2:25.76 (747 points)

Ashlee Moore
7. 100 Hurdles – 13.70 (1021 points)
6. High Jump – 5-6 (830 points)
7. Shot Put 36-10¼ (610 points)
11. 200 Meters – 25.45 (846 points)
3. Long Jump – 19-10¼ (865 points)
5. Javelin – 120-7 (605 points)
13. 800 Meters – 2:45.11 (516 points)

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