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No. 1 Razorbacks claim first SEC title with Johnson at helm


FAYETTEVILLE — In winning a 10th consecutive SEC Indoor Championship at Randal Tyson Track Center this weekend, the No. 1 Razorbacks christened head coach Chris Johnson with his first conference title.
“The first one will probably be the most memorable one,” stated Johnson, who become head coach of the women’s program this past summer. Coming into the first year that’s obviously the goal, but to actually accomplishing that goal is special.
“These young ladies put in a lot of work, effort and time with sweat and tears in this. So, I’m elated and I’m happy. I’m all wet from the celebrations, but I’m proud of these kids and the staff did a great job.”
Arkansas totaled 131 points in claiming a 14th SEC Indoor championship in program history as they scored in 14 of the 15 events they contested. Florida followed in team scoring with 80 points while LSU finished third at 68.5.
The signature event for the Razorbacks on Saturday was the 400m as Arkansas accumulated 31 team points off a 1-2-3-4-7 finish. Collegiate leader Amber Anning lowered her nationally leading time to 50.43 in winning the event, which moves to No. 2 on the British all-time list as well as the UA all-time list.
Among collegians, Anning became the No. 6 performer with the No. 6 performance all-time
Nickisha Pryce and freshman Kaylyn Brown both posted career best times of 50.83 in finishing second and third. The pair were separated 0.002 of second (50.821 to 50.823) running in different sections. They share the No. 4 position on UA all-time list while Pryce improves her No. 2 position on the Jamaica all-time list behind the 50.79 national record.
Rosey Effiong ran 51.00 in fourth while Joanne Reid finished seventh in 52.83.
Arkansas came into the meet ranked 1-2-5-6 nationally, and leave the meet ranked 1-2-3-4 heading into NCAA Indoors.
“You dream of things like that,” noted Johnson of the 400m finish. “When you go 1 through 4 and then add 7, that’s amazing. To do it in the SEC and what this league is all about it’s nothing short of amazing.
“Obviously, it’s a team effort and we had to have all different angles contributing. We got it done in every area.”
The same group tallied 17 points in the 200m off a 2-4-5 finish from Effiong, Pryce, and Anning. A 22.51 career best for Effiong moves her to No. 2 on the UA all-time list behind the 22.43 school record by Veronica Campbell.
Pryce set another PR of 22.62 which ranks No. 4 at Arkansas and equal No. 5 on the Jamaica all-time list. Anning clocked 22.75 for fifth place, which is the No. 2 British performance all-time behind the 22.60 national record set established earlier this season.
A silver medal performance in the high jump had Rachel Glenn improving her career best and Arkansas school record to 6-4.25 (1.94). Texas A&M’s Lamara Distin broke the collegiate record of 6-6 (1.98) with a 6-6.75 (2.00) clearance for the victory.
Arkansas finished the meet with a 3:26.33 runner-up finish in the 4 x 400m relay from a foursome that included Reid (52.37), Glenn (51.46), Sanu Jallow (52.01) and Brown (50.49). The time ranks No. 4 on the UA all-time list and is the No. 8 collegiate performance all-time.
It becomes the fifth performance by an Arkansas squad among the collegiate all-time top 10 performances. The split by Brown, meanwhile, is the 11th fastest split by a collegian indoors and the 12th best American.
South Carolina won the race in 3:26.05, a U.S. collegiate record, with a 49.80 anchor leg from JaMeeshia Ford, the fourth fastest ever indoors. The Gamecocks become the No. 5 school with the No. 7 performance.
Jallow earned a silver medal in the 800m as she posted a time of 2:02.76 while Ainsley Erzen added points by placing sixth in 2:06.71. Tiana LoStracco collected a bronze medal in the mile with a 4:39.57 performance.
Destiny Huven equaled her career best of 8.05 in placing fourth in the 60m hurdles while Glenn added two more team points in placing seventh with an 8.15. Huven is equal No. 6 on the UA all-time list with Taliyah Brooks.
Sydney Thorvaldson (9:09.70) and Mia Cochran (9:20.77) combined for fourth and eighth place in the 3,000m while Laura Tobardo (9:22.41) placed 10th.