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Newcomers sweep SEC weekly honors

Zach Lawson, Athletic Media Relations
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FAYETTEVILLE – A pair of newcomers for the University of Arkansas women’s cross country team have been recognized for their performances last weekend at the adidas/UCI Invitational. As announced by the conference office Tuesday, Semehar Tesfaye is the Southeastern Conference Runner of the Week and Andrina Schlaepfer is the league’s Freshman of the Week. The Razorbacks are also the new No. 9 team in the country.

“(Semehar) did a great job in leadership for us.,” head coach Lance Harter said. “What’s real exciting is that within six seconds, the rest of the team scored. It was a good effort on her behalf. It was a great breakthrough for Andrina. This is the first serious season of cross country for her so she’s learning on the run but she’s an exceptionally talented runner. We’re really excited about her future here.”

In her first race as a Razorback, Tesfaye raced to the individual title at the adidas/UCI Invitational in Irvine, Calif. She navigated the 5K course at the Anteater Recreation Center Fields in a time of 17:21.1, the fifth-fastest time in the SEC this season. Behind Tesfaye’s performance, Arkansas posted a perfect team score to win the event title. Overall, the Razorbacks swept the top six spots, placed eight inside the top 10 and had all 12 entries within the top 35.

Schlaepfer made her collegiate debut with a runner-up effort at the Irvine meet, finishing only behind Tesfaye. As the top freshman runner in the race, she crossed the finish line in a 5K time of 17:23.3 to help Arkansas secure the team title. With her performance last weekend, Schlaepfer owns the second-fastest 5K time by an SEC freshman this season and sixth best overall.

Following their victory at the adidas/UCI Invitational, the Razorbacks moved up two spots and are ranked ninth in this week’s release of the USTFCCCA coaches’ poll. Arkansas is one of three teams from the SEC inside the national top 30. The team began the season ranked No. 11. In regional rankings, the Razorbacks remain the top-ranked team in the South Central Region.

Arkansas is scheduled to return to competition Saturday morning for the First to the Finish Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo. For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

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