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McDowell Scores First Points for Lady'Backs
Beyonka McDowell        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 long jump."
        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 competition.
        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.

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