– The No. 10 University of Arkansas women’s cross country team placed three inside the top 14 and ran to a third-place finish Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The Razorbacks collected 135 team points and were tied with Michigan State for the third-place spot. Semehar Tesfaye
was Arkansas’ top performer with a 10th-place individual finish.
“Our front three ran really well today,” head coach Lance Harter
said. “Diane (Robison) is always solid for us and Paige (Johnston) had a good race as our fifth. For where we are in our training phase, we ran well. We’re in that interesting point of the season where people are starting to run fast and, at the same time, trying to stay ready for the NCAA Championship which is exactly eight weeks away.”
For the second time in as many races this season, Tesfaye was the first Razorback to cross the finish line. She navigated the 5K course in a time of 17:05.7 which is 16 seconds faster than her season-debut time run two weeks ago at the adidas/UCI Invitaitonal. Andrina Schlaepfer
finished in 13th place overall with a time of 17:06.70 and Grace Heymsfield
followed immediately in 14th place, posting a time of 17:06.75.
The Razorbacks’ top-five lineup was rounded out by Diane Robison
in 34th place and Paige Johnston
in 64th place. Robison clocked a time of 17:28.06 as Arkansas’ fourth finisher and Johnston crossed the finish line in a time of 17:45.38. Saturday’s race marked her second appearance in the team’s scoring lineup.
Arkansas’ remaining runners in the race were Shannon Klenke
in 87th place with a time of 17:55.29, Jessica Kamilos in 99th at 18:00.75, Kaitlin Flattmann
in 103rd at 18:02.62, Keri Wood
in 118th at 18:10.20 and Rachel Carpino
in 128th at 18:13.49.
Including the Razorbacks, the women’s Gold race featured seven ranked teams—top-ranked Washington, No. 8 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 12 Arizona, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 17 Penn State and No. 29 Wisconsin—and seven teams from the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas was first among the SEC teams, finishing ahead of Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia, Ole Miss, Missouri and Auburn, respectively.
During Saturday’s meet, Arkansas also had two runners in the Blue race. Kelsey Wheelhouse
was 113th overall in that race with a 5K time of 19:22.06. She was followed by teammate Codi Fritchie who was 212th with a time of 20:11.58. Between the two races involving the Razorbacks, there were 604 runners—267 in the Gold and 337 in the Blue—on the course.
Arkansas’ next competition is set for Oct. 13 with the 24th Annual Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville. As part of the championship season, the Razorbacks will also play host to the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 9 on its home course.
Saturday’s race was run on the course at E.P Tom Sawyer State Park, site of the NCAA Championships which will be contested in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 17.For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.