– After a week away from competition, the No. 3 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team returns to action this weekend as the host of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships. The indoor conference meet will be held Feb. 22-24 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, marking the program’s seventh time hosting the meet.
The 2013 SEC Indoor Championships begin Friday at 1 p.m. (CT) with the multi-event competitions. Action on Saturday and Sunday starts at 10 a.m. with the weight throw at Walker Pavilion and noon at the Randal Tyson Track Center. For tickets, visit the Razorback Ticket Center on Razorback Road by Baum Stadium, log on to the online ticket office at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or call 800/982-HOGS (4647).
“The championship season begins this weekend,” head coach Lance Harter
said. “Fortunately for us, the meet is on our track. Everybody loves coming to our track so I think we make good hosts. The SEC meet is loaded as usual with six nationally ranked teams. These most recent rankings just show that the SEC continues to be the superpower in indoor track and field.”
Under Harter, Arkansas has won three SEC indoor team titles (2000-01, 2003) and been the conference runner-up on five occasions, most recently in 2011. The team has 14 top-three performances in 21 years as a member of the SEC. The Razorback women tied a program high with five SEC event titles last year to bring their overall total to 52 since joining the league in 1991-92.
Arkansas has had at least one SEC champion in all but one year (2007) during that span. This year’s roster features three indoor conference champions with seniors Makeba Alcide
, Gwendolyn Flowers
and Regina George
. Alcide is the defending SEC champion in the pentathlon. Flowers and George were members of the victorious 4x400-meter relay in 2011; George was also on the 2010 4x400 team that won the program’s first-ever SEC title in the event.
Entering the conference indoor meet, Arkansas has posted conference-leading performance at 400 meters with George, 5,000 meters with Diane Robison
, Alcide in the pentathlon and the team’s distance-medley relay. Alcide is also ranked second in the high jump while Grace Heymsfield
has the third-fastest times among SEC competitors in both the mile and 3,000 meters.
“The last three events are the 5,000 (meters), the distance medley and the 4x4,” Harter said. “I don’t think any of us as teams can get away from each other until those three events. Those events could dictate a lot in terms of who is first, second and third in the team standings.”
The Razorbacks are the second-highest ranked among six SEC teams in Tuesday’s rankings release. Five of the top nine teams in the country are from the SEC and all six conference teams are ranked inside the top 15. Along with Arkansas at No. 3, the league is represented in the top 25 by top-ranked LSU, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Georgia, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 14 South Carolina.
ESPN3.com will carry the SEC Indoor Championships with coverage set for Saturday and Sunday. Commentary duties will be handled by Dwight Stones (play-by-play), Larry Rawson (color analyst) and Lewis Johnson (sideline reporter). ArkansasRazorbacks.com will stream Friday’s events with early Saturday and Sunday coverage. A tape-delay television broadcast of the conference meet will air March 13 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
The official hash tag of the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships is #SECTF. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.