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Blackwood Leads with First Win
Brandy Blackwood        SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Junior Brandy Blackwood led the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field team on the first night of the Meyo Invitational at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., when she won the weight throw competition with a season best mark of 57 feet, five inches.
        Improving from week-to-week, Blackwood picked up her first collegiate win since she transferred to Arkansas from Barton County Community College in the fall. Entering the competition with a best of 56-2, Blackwood far exceeded the mark, blowing it away by more than a foot on her way to the win.
        "We competed in several off events tonight," Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. "Brandy's performance was great. I am very proud of her. Kerri-Ann Mitchell also had a pair of solid marks and I think that this is a great starting point for tomorrow when the heat really gets turned up."
        Mitchell also picked up a victory when she competed in the 300-meter run. An off event, since it is not competed at the NCAA Championships, Arkansas' coaches used the race as a tune up for Mitchell who stepped up to the 400-meter dash after spending much of her career as a 100 and 200-meter runner. In Friday's action, Mitchell ran 39.37 to take the win, beating the field by nearly three-quarters of a second. What added to Mitchell's impressive effort was that she had just finished the long jump competition moments before the race and put together a season best jump of 19-3.5 to finish fifth.
        Senior Shaneatra Neely also competed in the 300-meter run, finishing fourth overall with a time of 40.70.
        Arkansas' pole vaulters performed well although the final results were misleading. Senior Jennifer (Culp) Lincoln and junior Erin Anderson each cleared identical heights of 12-5.5, but both skipped the next height, opting instead to attempt a season best 13-2.5. Each had three solid attempts at the season best mark, but failed to clear the bar. Freshman Jodi Driggers also performed well, jumping a near career best of 11-5.75. The clearance was just off her best which she set last weekend at the J.D. Martin Invitational at 11-6.25.
        The Lady Razorback 5,000-meter runners had a nice competition, finishing fifth, sixth and 10th, respectively. Sophomore's Maureen Scott and Jessie Gordon were the first two to cross the line with times of 17:38.53 and 17:50.19, but it was redshirt freshman Laura Kerr who had the best run, improving her personal best in the event by 30 seconds to 17:57.24.
        Arkansas concludes competition at the Meyo Invitational on Saturday with several events which it is counting on to produce big marks including the 60-meter dash, mile and 60-meter hurdles.

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