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No. 1 Ladybacks Run Second at Texas A&M Invitational

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The No. 1 Arkansas women’s track and field team finished in second place at the Charlie Thomas Invitational at College Station.

Texas A&M, who hosted the Invitational, finished first with 144 points while the Hogs ended the weekend with 102 points.

Six Razorbacks finished in first place, including sophomore Taliyah Brooks and senior Taylor Ellis-Watson, who both finished in first in two events. Twelve Razorbacks earned top-five finishes overall.

Brooks managed to leap over a quarter of a meter farther than the second place finisher en route to her first place finish in the long jump. Ellis-Watson just edged out the competition to stay on top of the 200-meter dash for the Hogs.

They were both on the 4x400 meter relay team that won first place in College Station over the weekend, along with Daina Harper and Brianna Swinton.

Brooks has kept up the pace she started as a freshman when she earned All-American and All-SEC Freshman honors. The sophomore phenom has excelled in multiple events similarly to last year, including her two first place finishes in long jump and joint success in the 4x400 relay.

Ellis-Watson’s two first place finishes were her fourth and fifth overall wins on the season. Ellis-Watson earned All-American honors for the third time as a Razorback and finished in third for the 400-meter dash at the indoor Southeastern Conference Championships in 2015.

Oregon transfer Nikki Hiltz finished in fourth place in the 800-meter dash at the Charlie Thomas Invitational. The redshirt sophomore has been acclimating to head coach Lance Harter’s squad well by earning top-ten finishes in the mile and the distance medley.

Hiltz earned spots on the indoor All-American first team and the outdoor All-American second team during her redshirt freshman year at Oregon.

Junior Micah Dennis finished in second place in the shot-put. It is the highest finish for Dennis since the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 15. She earned a top-ten place finish at the New Mexico Invitational. Dennis finished in thirteenth place at the SEC Championships in her first season as a Razorback.

Redshirt senior Megan Zimlich was one of the six Hogs to win her event outright as she finished atop of the pole vault performers. Her height of 4.19 meters at College Station ties for her personal best and it earned a spot as one of the 20 best vaulters in college according to Razorback Athletics. Zimlich vaulted over the same height last year at the Razorback Invitational.

Zimlich’s fellow pole vaulter Ariel Voskamp finished in third place in the event. Voskamp cleared a height of 3.94 meters which tied five other competitors. Ariel Lachance and Rylee Robinson also finished in the top ten.

Senior Alex Gochenour ended as runner-up in the 60-meter hurdles. Gochenour, who competes in multiple events like Brooks, has two other top-ten finishes in the same event on the season. Gochenour was given indoor All-American honors for her performances in 2015.

The Razorbacks stay in Fayetteville for the Tyson Invitational on Friday. There will not be any team scoring tallied for that meet.


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