WACO, Texas – No. 28 Arkansas Razorback women’s cross country picked up a third-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships at Baylor on Saturday.
Arkansas finished third with 66 points. No. 25 SMU won the team title with 43 points and Baylor was second with 54 points. SMU and Baylor receive the automatic bids to the NCAA Championships and Arkansas will learn its fate Monday when the at-large bids are announced.
"We had two individual qualifiers, six all-region honors and 24 seconds between our first and fifth runners," head coach Lance Harter said. "Our team did everything they could. SMU and Baylor had great meets. We’ll learn our team fate for NCAAs on Monday but we’ll have two individuals racing no matter what. I think today was a great breakthrough race for our freshman, Alyssa Allison."
Freshman Alyssa Allison and junior Miranda Walker earned individual trips to the NCAA Championships as top four individuals not included on automatic qualifying teams. Arkansas finished two in the top 10, five in the top 20 and all seven runners in the top 28. Arkansas also picked up six all-region honors.
"We were ranked second in our region and we ran for the top-two finish," Walker said. "SMU and Baylor had good races today. We ran our best but it wasn’t good enough today. Alyssa Allison ran really well and I snuck in at the end. At the end of the day, we are disappointed."
For the first time this season, Allison was Arkansas’ top finisher. She earned a fifth-place finish overall and was the second freshman finisher overall. She clocked a 6,000-meter time of 21:14.1, a 30-second personal best. She also earned her first all-region honor. Walker was Arkansas’ second runner in ninth place. Her time of 21:22.6 earned her the second all-region honor of her career.
Sophomore Samantha Learch was 13th overall and Arkansas’ third finisher. She clocked a 6K time of 21:29.22, a personal best, and earned the first all-region honor of her career. Senior Megan Jackson was fourth on the team and 19th overall. Her time of 21:37.5 earned her the second all-region honor of her career. Freshman Taylor Johnson rounded out Arkansas’ scoring five with a 20th-place finish. She earned all-region honors with a personal-best time of 21:38.1.
Also competing for the Razorbacks were sophomores Kristen Gillespie (22nd, 21:41.0) and Cali George (28th, 22:14.0).
Arkansas’ individuals will compete next at the NCAA Championships on Monday, Nov. 23, in Terre Haute, Ind. For complete results and more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or BaylorBears.com.