Hiltz advances to 1,500m final, Brooks & Chadwick set PRs to reach semifinal

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(photo courtesy of the University of Arkansas)

Three Arkansas alums advanced during the second day of the U.S. Olympic Trials held at Hayward Field on Saturday. Nikki Hiltz qualified for the 1,500m final while career best times in the 100m hurdles had Taliyah Brooks and Payton Chadwick moving on to the semifinal.

Hiltz ran in the second semifinal heat of the 1,500m and produced a leading time of 4:05.87 over Cory McGee (4:05.96), and Sinclaire Johnson (4:06.04). The first semifinal was claimed in 4:09.18.

“I did not want to ease up at the line,” noted Hiltz. “4:05 felt really good today.

“It’s a little hotter than yesterday. It definitely felt harder than yesterday. It can get pretty crazy at the end of the race. Yesterday I was fresh, and today I’m not. I’m going to rest, get an ice bath, flush.”

In sixth place through the first two laps, Hiltz had splits of 1:04.86 and 1:07.60 (2:12.46). With 500m left, Hiltz moved into a share of the lead and even withstood a bump with 420m remaining. A split of 1:06.17 (3:18.62) preceded a 47.25 over the final 300m by Hiltz for the victory.

The 1,500m final will be held Monday at 5:05 p.m. PT (7:05 p.m. CT).

A career best of 12.61 seconds (0.8 wind) by Brooks claimed the second heat in the first round of the 100m hurdles, finishing ahead of Christina Clemson (12.64) and Queen Claye (12. 93). Brooks previous PR of 12.70 was set earlier this season.

“It was about relaxing,” stated Brooks. “I was really nervous. It’s good nerves because I feel prepared. I just wanted to get through that first round. Hopefully going into tomorrow I can calm myself a little and put myself at ease. 

“I just wanted a solid race. It’s been a minute since I’ve raced. I’m coming off of injury and just wanted to make it through all 10 hurdles clean. I hit one of them. I don’t know which one, but I can feel it on my leg.” 

Chadwick followed with a career best of 12.66 (1.0 wind) to place third in the third heat behind Anna Cockrell (12.63) and Rayniah Jones (12.64). Chadwick’s previous best of 12.70 was set in 2019.

The 100m hurdles semifinal will be held on Sunday at 6:03 p.m. PT (8:03 p.m. CT) and the final will follow at 7:43 p.m. PT (9:43 p.m. CT) the same evening.

Sunday’s events will also include Krissy Gear running in the first round of the 3,000m Steeplechase at 6:35 p.m. (8:35 p.m. CT).

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