WALNUT, California – A trip to Southern California will offer Arkansas competition in three meets this weekend as the Razorbacks have various athletes entered in the Mt. San Antonio College Relays, the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific, as well as the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate held at Long Beach State.
“This is the first time on the women’s side that we have taken a full team to Mt. SAC,” said Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “What’s nice about Los Angeles is that they have three meets going on in the area.
“Mt. SAC is kind of the granddaddy of them which traditionally was a great distance carnival, but now is expanded to be a great destination for the sprints and jumps. It’s all inclusive for everyone and it’s an opportunity to take the whole team.”
On Wednesday evening at the Bryan Clay Invitational, Logan Jolly and Krissy Gear will compete in the 3,000m steeplechase. Gear broke the UA school record a year ago with a 9:38.62 performance while Jolly ranks No. 7 on the UA all-time list with a 10:04.55. The current collegiate leading time for 2022 is 9:51.43 by Greta Karinauskaite of Cal Baptist.
The Razorback pole vault crew is scheduled to compete twice, first at Long Beach State on Thursday during the Pacific Coach Intercollegiate and then on Friday at the Mt. SAC Relays. The Arkansas group includes Amanda Fassold, Mackenzie Hayward, Bailee McCorkle, and Elien Vekemans.
Fassold set a career best of 14-4.5 (4.38) to win the John McDonnell Invitational among cold and windy conditions last week. Vekemans, who claimed the SEC Indoor title at 14-8 (4.47) and earned an All-America honor placing seventh at the 2022 NCAA Indoor, will have her first outdoor competition this weekend.
Thursday evening at Azusa Pacific, 5,000m races will include Razorbacks Isabel Van Camp, Sydney Thorvaldson, and London Culbreath.
“Most of our distance crew have a primary and secondary event,” noted Harter. “Most of them are going to be running their primary event this week. It’s time to put it in optimal racing form to get ready to post a great mark and try to get some of the qualifying aspects out of the way. Mt. SAC is traditionally a place where if you don’t run fast, you’ll get run over.”
Lauren Gregory, the current collegiate leader in the 10,000m with her debut of 32:34.21 at Stanford, will race in the Invitational 5,000m at Mt. SAC on Friday evening.
Collegians joining Gregory in the Invitational 5k are Mercy Chelangat of Alabama, Stanford’s Christina Aragon, Taylor Roe of Oklahoma State, Minnesota’s Bethany Hasz, and Colorado’s Abby Nichols.
Professionals in the race include Karisa Schweizer, Eilish McColgan, Emily Infield, Natosha Rogers, Maggie Montoya, and Arkansas alum Taylor Werner.
“On the sprint side, we lost an opportunity this past week to run some primary events, so now we’ll take the opportunity in LA and try to get some great performances as well,” said Harter.
Britton Wilson, the current world leader in the 400m hurdles with a UA record of 54.37, will race in the Invitational section of that event at the Mt. SAC Relays. The field includes Jamaican Shiann Salmon, currently third in the world with a 55.35 this season, along with 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer and Deonca Bookman, who finished sixth in the Olympic Trials last summer.