Athletics News

SEC Women — 400 Blows Up Collegiate ATL

SEC Women — 400 Blows Up Collegiate ATL

The Razorback trio of Nickisha Pryce (right), Kaylyn Brown (left) and Amber Anning dropped the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 collegiate lap times in history. (NOAH SOUTHARD)

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, May 09-11 — The moment of the SEC Championships came at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, when the Arkansas 400 squad finished 1-2-3; Nickisha Pryce won in 49.32, moving to No. 3 all-time among collegians as she missed the Jamaican Record by just 0.02. Frosh Kaylyn Brown, 19, crossed in 49.47; she is now the No. 4 collegian ever. Her December 31 birthday means she was born a day too early to break Athing Mu’s U20 American Record. In 3rd came Britain’s Amber Anning in 49.51, No. 5 collegian ever. Georgia’s Aaliyah Butler took 4th in 49.79 to become No. 9.

The idea of a one college putting three women under 50-seconds is crazy enough. In the same race? Look at it this way. Only three times in history has a nation put three women under 50 in the same race — the East German nationals in ’84, and the USATF nationals in ’05 and ’23. Then consider Rosey Effiong in 5th at 50.75, a performance that raised hopes for a monster Razorback 4×4 — those times add up to 3:19.05, 2.7 seconds faster than the Collegiate Record.

Arkansas head coach Chris Johnson told, “It kind of leaves you awestruck. Obviously, you hope and dream for it, and you know they’re capable of it. But doing it on that day in this atmosphere, it’s quite difficult. These young ladies are special, they’re running well.”

But the NCAA indoor champions had some bad breaks as well, and fell short of defending their title. Rachel Glenn, for instance, ran an NCAA-leading 54.02 in the heats of the 400H, moving to No. 7 on the all-time collegiate list. Leading the final, she fell badly on the last hurdle, salvaging just one point as Mississippi’s Gabrielle Matthews won in a PR 55.12. In the high jump, the Collegiate Record holder cleared 6-3½ (1.92) to finish behind Georgia’s Elena Kulichenko’s Cypriot Record 6-4¾ (1.95).

Racking up the big points were LSU’s Tigers, who eventually finished with 126, well ahead of Arkansas’s 110 and Florida’s 101. It was the 14th SEC outdoor crown for the Bengals, who hadn’t won since ’12. Soph Brianna Lyston took the 100 in 10.91 (0.3 wind) to rank No. 9 in history. Tennessee’s Jacious Sears, who dashed 9.77 a month earlier, DNFed her heat with an apparent hamstring injury. Michaela Rose burned another great two-lapper, her 1:58.89 the…

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