Scores First Points for Lady'Backs
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Junior Beyonka McDowell drew first
blood for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field team
at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Friday evening, setting
a school record for a pentathlon 60-meter hurdles race and scoring Arkansas'
first points of the 2004 championships.
McDowell, who toed the line for her first
collegiate pentathlon as a Lady Razorback, began with a bang when she
posted the second-fastest 60-meter hurdles mark of the competition and
Arkansas school record, 8.52, for 1,013 points. Her time was just behind
the eventual champion, Georgia all-American Hyleas Fountain, and barely
edged Arkansas school record of 8.53 which was held by former Lady Razorback
DeeDee Brown. Brown set the mark on her way to a conference championship
in the pentathlon in 2002.
"For her first pentathlon Beyonka did great,"
Arkansas head track coach Lance Harter said. "She got off to a great start,
then faltered a bit in the high jump, but is still learning that event.
What was really encouraging was how she battled back in the shot put and
After a sub-par high jump, McDowell returned
in the shot put to post the competition's best mark at 43 feet, six inches.
Her throw was nearly three feet better than her competition and placed
her right back in the running for quality points in a tough competition.
Moving on to the long jump, McDowell put together
another nice effort by jumping 18-10.75 to move up three spots in the
standings with her 777 points. She concluded the day with a grueling 800
meters that allowed her to finish seventh overall with 3,635 points, one
point from sixth, and earn two points for the Lady Razorbacks in the team
Also competing in the combined event on Friday
evening was senior Jamie Walker who also put together a solid score. Finishing
11th overall with 3,527 points, Walker improved on her score from earlier
this season in the event. Dropping her hurdles time by three-tenths of
a second, Walker was in great position, but like her teammate faltered
in the high jump. She came back in the shot with a near career best, and
season best by five feet, of 37-5.25. Jumping 18-4.25 in the long jump
continued to move Walker up the standings and a very solid 800-meter run
of 2:28.88 moved her up another spot to her final placing.
The Lady Razorbacks continue competition at
the SEC Championships on Saturday at the University of Kentucky's Nutter
Fieldhouse at 10:00 a.m. with the women's weight throw.