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2010 Cross Country season recap

BY ANDRES FOCIL
2010 Cross Country season recap

FAYETTEVILLE – Miranda Walker represented the University of Arkansas women’s cross country team at the 2010 NCAA Championships (Nov. 22) in Terre Haute, Ind. The senior runner navigated the 6K course in a time of 21:17.9, good for a 91st-place showing. Both her time and placing are personal bests at the NCAA meet for Walker, who was selected for an individual at-large bid to participate in the national meet.

To qualify for the final race of the season, she ran to a third-place individual finish at the 2010 NCAA South Central Regional meet (Nov. 13) in Waco, Texas. Arkansas finished third in the team standings behind Texas and Rice. Individually, the Razorbacks picked up four All-Region accolades with Walker, Samantha Learch, Stephanie Brown and Cali George.

The Razorbacks raced to a second-place finish at the 2010 SEC Championship (Nov. 1) meet in Columbia, S.C. Running stride for stride with eventual champion Florida, the Razorbacks totaled 61 teams points, just one behind the Gators in the final standings. Walker and Brown earned All-SEC First Team honors for their effort against the conference’s best.

Kristen Gillespie claimed a spot on the all-conference second team while Brown and Grace Heymsfield are members of the SEC All-Freshman Team. In addition to Walker, Brown and Gillespie, Arkansas’ top-five lineup included George and Learch.

When postseason SEC awards were announced, Brown was named the Freshman Runner of the Year, the sixth winner for head coach Lance Harter.

In its final competition date before the SEC meet, Arkansas split into two crews with the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., and the 22nd Annual Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville (Oct. 16). Arkansas had a 17th-place finish at the NCAA preview meet while the all-freshman team at Chile Pepper ran to a 12th-place result. Gillespie at the Pre-National event and Natanya Luther at Chile Pepper paced their respective crews.

In a field featuring the nation’s best, the Razorbacks ran to a ninth-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 1). Gillespie led Arkansas’ top-five lineup which also included, in order, Walker, Brown, George and Luther. The race featured 16 teams either ranked or receiving votes in the Sept. 28 national poll. In the day’s open division race,Heymsfield and Rachel Carpino finished in 15th and 18th, respectively.

For the third time in as many races, Brown was named the SEC Freshman Runner of the Week following her performance at the Notre Dame Invitational. As Arkansas’ third finisher, she navigated the 5K course in a time of 17:38. As a team, the Razorbacks moved to No. 25 in that week’s release of the USTFCCCA rankings.

Behind four top-10 individual finishes, the Razorbacks claimed the team title at the 30th Annual UC Riverside Invitational (Sept. 18) in Riverside, Calif. Arkansas outpaced the field with 30 team points. All seven of Arkansas’ runners in the race finished in the top 25. Walker turned in a second-place finish in a time of 16:51.1 and Gillespie crossed the line in 16:51.8 to finish in third place. The remaining top five included Brown, George and Ashley Isham.

In the Open 5K race, Arkansas had four top-15 results from freshmen Luther, Paige Johnston, Heymsfield and Carpino.

Arkansas swept the SEC cross country weekly honors following the UC Riverside Invitational with Walker earning Female Athlete of the Week while Brown repeated as Female Freshman of the Week.

The Razorbacks won the season-opening Arkansas Invitational (Sept. 3) with a perfect score of 15 points. Walker took the individual title in the 4K race with a time of 14:07. She was followed in the team’s top-five lineup by Gillespie, Brown, Learch and George.

For her third-place finish in the race, Brown earned her first of three SEC Freshman of the Week accolades. She was the top freshman finisher in the race.

Download: 11.23.10 Season Wrap.pdf



Sports Category : Cross Country (W)