Eclipses Elusive Record
Calif. - Many have tried, few have come close, but senior Londa Bevins
accomplished something late Friday night at the Cardinal Invitational
in Palo Alto, Calif., that has not been done over the past 10-years of
University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track, break the school record in
the 1,500-meter run.
Bevins ran a personal best and Arkansas record
breaking 4:15.35 in the second heat of the 1,500 meters at the Cardinal,
outlasting several of the nation's best middle distance runners. Finishing
first in her heat and overall, Bevins proved that she was ready for the
postseason by eclipsing the 10-year old record of former Lady Razorback
Sarah Schwald who ran 4:16.00 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
back in 1994.
"The 1,500 was the show of the night," Arkansas
head track coach Lance Harter said. "Londa broke the school record held
by Sarah Schwald, a world championships competitor and really found an
extra gear coming down the stretch. She was in a real fight on the homestretch
with Colorado's Sara Gorton, Christin Wurth and Lindsey Gallo of Michigan
but was able to pass the field for the record and the win. All three of
our young ladies ran personal bests and are under 4:20. No other program
in the U.S. can say the same thing about the 1,500-meter run."
Bevins led a 1-4-9 Arkansas finish across
the finish line at Stanford with Wurth just dipping below her personal
best with a time of 4:16.58 and sophomore Erica Sigmont finishing in 4:19.46.
Bevins shaved nearly three seconds off her previous best while Wurth knocked
off 22 hundredths of a second and Sigmont taking 2.5 seconds off her career
mark. The Lady Razorback 1,500-meter runners now rank 4-6-11 in the nation
and are the only program in the country to have more than two runners
under the 4:20 mark.
A pair of current and former Lady'Backs had
made attempts at Schwald's school record in recent years including Wurth
who clocked a time of 4:16.80 at the NCAA Championships last spring and
former Arkansas great Tracy Robertson who came eerily close at 4:16.52
Also stepping up to the challenge was sophomore
Shiloh Whiting who had struggled of late, but rebounded to run a personal
best and Southeastern Conference leading 10:38.17. Whiting had held the
conference lead earlier in the season, but was surpassed by Georgia's
Erin Kelley in the beginning of April. At the Penn Relays last weekend,
Whiting ran a disappointing 11:01.76, but her performance at Stanford
proved that her run at Penn was not what you can expect to see from the
reigning U.S. Juniors champion.
"I am really proud of Shiloh," Harter said.
"She led off a great night with her steeplechase and while she did a good
job, there is still room for improvement which is encouraging. She took
a huge step forward and made a real positive step by taking back to the
conference lead. That should help her confidence heading into the SEC
Championships in two weeks."
The Lady Razorbacks get next weekend off from
competition before heading to the SEC Championships in Knoxville, Tenn.,