UA newcomer impresses with pole vault victory

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From: Bob Holt

Posted: Saturday April 9th ​​2022

FAYETTEVILLE — Amanda Fassold, who competed in NCAA Division II at Azusa, Calif. Pacific, shows she’s ready for Division I competition at the University of Arkansas.

Fassold, a junior who transferred this year from Azusa Pacific, won the women’s pole vault Friday at the John McDonnell Invitational posting a personal best 14 feet, 4 1/2 inches.

That mark ranks eighth nationally and second in the SEC this season in outdoor athletics, and is eighth on the Razorbacks’ all-time list.

Fassold is already a graduate of Azusa Pacific with a degree in business management and is working on a master’s degree in commerce in Arkansas.

“Amanda is very bright, very analytical,” Arkansas women’s coach Lance Harter said. “She contacted us when she entered the transfer portal and we are happy that she is there.”

The Razorbacks took the top five spots in the women’s pole vault despite the absence of All-Americans Nastssja Campbell and Elien Vekemans.

Campbell injured her biceps at the NCAA indoor championships, underwent surgery and is out for the outdoor season. Vekemans, the SEC indoor champion, did not compete Friday due to a foot injury, but Harter said she hopes to be able to compete next weekend in relays from Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, in California.

Other Razorbacks in the top five on Friday were sophomore Mackenzie Hayward (13-2 1/2), Kaitlyn Banks (13-2 1/2), junior Bailee McCorkle (128-1/2) and sophomore year Grace Ridgeway (12-2 3/4).

“It shows our depth,” Harter said.

Harter said Arkansas assistant Bryan Compton, who coaches the outfielders, is high on Fassold.

“Bryan rarely brags about an athlete,” Harter said. “He brags about Amanda and her ultimate potential. The last time that happened was with Sandi Morris.

Morris, NCAA champion for the Razorbacks after being traded from North Carolina, was the 2016 Olympic silver medalist.

“The conditions were terrible, which shows Amanda’s talent,” Harter said of the windy conditions and temperatures in the 50s on Friday. “When we have more ideal conditions, she will get better grades. It will be the national image.

Arkansas signee Mia Cochran, a student at Moon Area High School (Pennsylvania) in suburban Pittsburgh, won the 3,000 meters on Friday in 9 minutes, 42.92 seconds. She signed with the Razorbacks last fall.

“Mia was very heavily recruited,” Harter said. “She came here in the fall and really liked what we had to offer.

“We’re super excited for her to come next year. She came out here [to compete] so that his mother and father could see the area, as they had not been here. They’re on their way to Florida for spring break.

Arkansas senior Kennedy Thomson won the 800 in a time of 2:10.01.

Lexington Hilton, who wears a redshirt at Arkansas after transferring from Arkansas State University, won the 1,500 in 3:49.88.

Razorbacks sophomore Ayden Owens, the NCAA indoor heptathlon champion, prepared for next week’s decathlon at the Mount San Antonio College Relays, running 13.82 in the 110-meter hurdles and throwing the record with a personal best of 145-10.

The Arkansas men’s and women’s teams saw several sprinters and jumpers withdraw in their events due to cold weather.

“There was no room for our guys to warm up today,” Arkansas men’s coach Chris Bucknam said. “We were walking on eggshells making sure no one got hurt.”

University of Central Arkansas senior Alex Hanson won the 3,000m in 8:27.13. Arkansas State junior Evangelynn Harris was second in the discus throw (156-1) and third in the shot put (50-0).

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