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Posted: January 25, 2009  :

Athletics: Katie Stripling Improves in the Pole Vault

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field continued to improve on day two of the Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Saturday.

“We had some key events this weekend,” head coach Lance Harter said. “The long jumpers had a pretty good day yesterday. They are consistently improving which is really key. Our pole vaulters are always ready to compete and they always take care of business. Their consistency will really pay off in the long run.”

“We had PRs in the 800 meters and the mile, all from athletes running down in events because we are preparing them for top distance races in Seattle next weekend,” Harter said. “Our 4x400-meter relay continues to improve. We still don’t have our lineup set so it’s encouraging to see different athletes competing well in that event.”

Junior Katie Stripling improved her season and personal best in the pole vault to 13-11.25. She also picked up another event win. Her height improves her NCAA automatic qualifier, ranks second nationally and first in the SEC. Her mark is also No. 2 on the Arkansas all-time list.

Also in the pole vault, Tina Sutej finished third (12-11.5), Sarah Landau was fifth (12-11.5), Tara Diebold was sixth (12-5.5) and Kristen Keith was ninth (11-5.75).

Arkansas’ 4x400-meter relay also made a big improvement on Saturday. The quartet of Janine Davis, Shelise Williams, Whitney Jones and Karen Thomas combined for a time of 3:42.30, good for second in the SEC ranks.

Two Razorbacks clocked personal bests in the mile. Denise Bargiachi dipped below the five-minute mark for the first time with her clocking of 4:52.99 and finished seventh. Megan Jackson was eighth with her improved time of 4:53.14.

The 800 meters was a strong event for the Razorbacks as they picked up fourth-, fifth-, ninth- and 10th-place finishes. Lauren Lewis led the Razorbacks with a personal-best clocking of 2:12.06, good for a fifth-place finish.

Earlier in the day, Williams posted a solid season debut in the 400 meters. Just off the NCAA provisional-qualifying time, she clocked a 54.43 for a fifth-place finish. Junior Karen Thomas was 18th with a time of 56.95 in the event.

For complete meet results and more information about Arkansas track and field, visit

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