FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 8 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team collected six national qualifiers on day one of the 2014 NCAA West Preliminary. The Razorbacks will be represented at the NCAA Outdoor Championships by Amethyst Boyd (javelin), Tamara Myers (long jump) and the vaulting quartet of Sandi Morris, Danielle Nowell, Ariel Voskamp and Megan Zimlich.
Boyd secured her first-career trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on a first throw of 163-3, set a new school record in javelin. Boyd surpasses her previous personal record of 156-5 and takes down the previous school record of 162-10 set by Carly Bloomfield in 2007.
“All of the hard work I’ve put in this season is finally paying off,” said Boyd. “I couldn’t’ be more excited. I’ve been working to set a school record, so to do it at the biggest meet of the year, it’s unbelievable. I know Coach Compton is excited too, so I’m happy.”
A huge third-attempt jump landed Myers at 20-8.5 in long jump, a personal-best and the No. 2 all-time jump in Arkansas school history. The qualifying mark took down her previous PR of 20-7.75 and sends Myers to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second-consecutive year.
The dominant pole vault quartet of Morris, Nowell, Zimlich and Voskamp all punched their ticket to Eugene with top-12 finishes. Morris, Nowell and Zimlich cleared 13-7, with Voskamp at 13-3 to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The performance comes two weeks after Arkansas earned a 1-2-3-7 at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
“All four girls have been working very hard for what they have accomplished the past couple of weeks,” said Assistant Coach Bryan Compton. “Coming into this meet there is no guarantee even the top jumpers will make it to nationals. For all four of them to pull through is special, it goes to show the hard work that they have done.”
Zimlich’s jump of 13-7, surpasses her previous PR of 13-3.5 set at the John McDonnell Invitational to advance her to the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career.
“When I made that bar, nothing was going through my mind – I was just the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” said Zimlich. “I’ve been trying to claw my way to the top. There were some things I needed to work on and execute and I did it.”
In first first-round running events, the Razorbacks advanced five to the quarterfinals. Entering the meet with the top 1,500-meter time in the nation, Stephanie Brown earned the top time in the first round with a time of 4:20.73 to automatically qualify to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Keri McClary crossed the finish line in 4:23.27 and will join Brown in Saturday’s quarterfinals at 6:45 p.m.
Regine Williams clocked 11.70 in the 100-mter dash for an automatic qualifying third-place finish, advancing to Friday’s quarterfinal competition.
Day two of competition will begin Friday at 10 a.m. with men’s hammer. For more information on Razorback Track and Field, follow @RazorbackTF.
Live results can be followed here.
The free live stream will begin at 5 p.m., here.
Day One Results
100-Meter (First Round)
18. Regine Williams – 11.70Q
400-Meter (First Round)
8. Taylor Ellis-Watson – 53.05Q
9. Chrishuna Williams – 53.05Q
1,500-Meter (First Round)
1. Stephanie Brown – 4:20.73Q
22. Keri McClary – 4:23.27q
26. Paige Johnston – 4:24.08
3. Tamara Myers – 20-8.5
1. Sandi Morris
6. Danielle Nowell
6. Megan Zimlich (PR – prev. 13-3.5)
11. Ariel Voskamp
7. Amethyst Boyd – 163-3 (SR – prev. 162-10; PR – prev. 156-5)
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