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Pair of Razorbacks have top-3 finishes

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | June 11, 2021 at 2:13 a.m.

University of Arkansas senior Lauren Martinez took second in the pole vault and Razorbacks junior Markus Ballengee finished third in the decathlon Thursday night at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Martinez cleared 14 feet, 1 1/2 inches on her third attempt to stay alive in the competition. She then cleared 14-3 1/4 on her first attempt, but missed three attempts at 14-5 1/4.

LSU junior Lisa Gunnarson cleared 14-5 1/4 for the victory.

Ballengee, who was 10th in the decathlon after Wednesday's first five events, had the top mark in Thursday's discus with a throw of 166-6. His other Thursday marks included 14.31 in the 110-meter hurdles, 164-6 in the discus, 15-9 1/2 in the pole vault and 4:44.59 in the 1,500.

Ballengee finished behind Georgia sophomore Kiral Tilga (8,261 points) and Michigan sophomore Ayden Owens (8,114).

Arkansas junior Katie Izzo finished fourth in the 10,000 in a personal-best 32:34.16.

The Razorbacks failed to finish in the 400-relay semifinals when sophomore Tiana Wilson, running the anchor leg, tore her Achilles tendon. She then had to scratch from the 100 and 200

Arkansas is tied for third place through six of 21 finals in the women's team standings.

Georgia leads with 20 points. Oregon is second with 14 points and Arkansas, North Dakota State and Ohio State all have 13.

Arkansas' men's team is tied for 16th with the six points scored by Ballengee. LSU leads the men's team standings with 24 points through seven of 21 finals. Mississippi State and Texas each have 17 points for a second-place tie.

Razorbacks senior G'Auna Edwards went 20-10 in the long jump to finish 11th and senior Shafiqua Maloney advanced to the 800 final, running 2:03.88.

Arkansas freshman Mackenzie Hayward and sophomore Bailee McCorkle each cleared 13-3 1/2 in the pole vault to take 12th and 16th. Hayward placed higher because of fewer misses at lower heights.

Razorbacks sophomore Daniel Spejcher didn't finish the decathlon. He didn't compete in the final three events and had 5,446 points after running 14.91 in the 110-meter hurdles and throwing 134-3 in the discus.

Arkansas' 1,600 relay team -- which normally is anchored by Wilson -- advanced to the final with Paris Peoples, Morgan Burks-Magee, Jada Baylark and Maloney running 3:31.61 to take eighth.

Baylark, a junior from Little Rock, didn't advance in the 100 (17th in 11.47) and 200 (13th in 23.19). Sophomore Daszay Freema (11th in 12.95) and freshman Jayla Hollis (17th in 13.31) didn't advance in the 100-meter hurdles. Yoveinny Mota didn't finish in the 100-meter hurdles.

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