– Lance Harter
, head coach of the University of Arkansas women’s cross country and track and field teams, has been selected as the 2012 South Central Region Coach of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). This latest recognition represents the 15th regional coaching honor for Harter, now in his 23rd season with the Razorbacks.
At the 2012 NCAA South Central Regional Championships, Harter saw his 12th-ranked Arkansas team run to the regional title behind five top-15 individual finishes. The victory was the Razorbacks’ second-straight regional title and 17th in program history. With the performance, Arkansas secured an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. The program will be making its 25th appearance at the national meet.
“We had a great experience as the regional host,” Harter said. “The Chile Pepper course was in fantastic shape and we were really pleased with how the race turned out for us. We were able to adjust our lineup and have Andrina (Schlaepfer) and Keri (Wood) sit out. The runners that came into fill those spots did a great job. To qualify (for the NCAA Championships) was what we wanted but to get the win was just icing on the cake.”
Since the regional meets were first contested in 1982, Arkansas has been among the top-three teams every season and has now earned one of the two automatic bids to the NCAA Championships on 23 occasions. The Razorbacks will be making their 20th appearance at the national meet under Harter.
During the 2012 season, Harter has guided Arkansas to four team titles and two runner-up performances. For their respective performances at the regional meet, six Razorback runners—Semehar Tesfaye
, Grace Heymsfield
, Diane Robison
, Jessica Kamilos
, Paige Johnston
and Shannon Klenke
—earned all-region accolades.
In the final national ranking before the NCAA Championships, Arkansas is the No. 12 team in the country. The women’s 6K race at the national meet will be run this Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11 a.m. (CT) at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.