A Razorback duo earned All-American honors Saturday afternoon on the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Historic Hayward Field to close the collegiate season for Arkansas.
“Considering all the hurdles we had to overcome this entire track season, especially the end of the season, with some setbacks and hindsight being 20/20, I think finishing a point out of the top-10 is a feather in our cap,” said head coach Lance Harter.
“We had such great performances this weekend in Nikki Hiltz, and especially our super freshman Janeek [Brown], as well as our vaults. Now its a matter of next year, and we’re excited. Unfortunately, we lose Taliyah [Brooks] and Nikki [Hiltz] to graduation, but everybody else is back and considering the arsenal we bring back and the recruits we have coming I’m super excited about the athletes we’ll have available next year,” Harter finished.
Nikki Hiltz was the first athlete up for the Razorbacks, who had three athletes competing in the finals on Saturday afternoon.
Hiltz, who was the NCAA Runner-up last season, capped her collegiate career with a lifetime-best of 4:09.14 closing fast over the final 400-meters but just missing out on that elusive NCAA title, finishing as the NCAA Runner-up for a second-straight season. The time by Hiltz remained at No. 2 in program history but shaved time off the previous time of 4:10.80. Oregon’s Jessica Hull took home the title finishing in 4:08.75. The NCAA meet was the third meet of the outdoor season for Hiltz following the SEC Outdoor Championships and the NCAA West Preliminary.
“There aren’t words that can sufficiently sum up what today meant to me,” said Nikki Hiltz “I crossed the line and I was just happy, everything just hit me that it was all over. Second-place stings, especially two years in-a-row but with the season I’ve had it just seems like a victory. It feels like first-place, and to go out with a PR, to end your collegiate career with a PR is a very telling thing. I’m so thankful for everything that Arkansas has given me. I got the best of both worlds, I got the Hayward crowd, and I got to wear Arkansas across my chest. It was a fairytale ending to a rollercoaster of a collegiate career,” Hiltz finished.
Devin Clark was up next in the finals of the women’s 3,000-steeplechase. Clark, who qualified for today’s final with a time of 9:57.19 on Thursday, finished 11th running 10:03.70. Boise State’s Allie Ostrander became the first women to win back-to-back titles in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase since Jenny Barringer took home titles in 2008 and 2009.
The final athlete set to represent Arkansas in the finals was true freshman Janeek Brown. Brown wrapped up her freshman season for the Razorbacks running 13.09 earning All-American Honors for the second time in 2018 to go along with her indoor honors in the 60-meter hurdles. Brown was the lone freshman in a field that featured two seniors, two juniors, and three sophomores. Kentucky junior Jasmine Camacho-Quinn took home her second NCAA title in the event running 12.70.
As a team, Arkansas’ women finished in 11th-place with 20-points.
Arkansas now awaits the list of accepted entries to the USATF Championships slated for Jun. 21-24 in Des Moines, Iowa.
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