CARSON, Calif. – Freshman Whitney Anderson concluded her first season with the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team with a seventh-place finish in the heptathlon at the USA Track and Field Championships in Carson, Calif., while a pair of Lady Razorback up and comers advanced in the junior fields.
Anderson backed up a solid first day with three excellent efforts in her first major national competition. She started the afternoon off with the long jump and improved with each attempt to her final distance of 16 feet, 9 ¼ inches. The leap placed Anderson seventh in the event and earned her 589 points.
The javelin was next a toss of 97-10 earned her another 473 points going into the hardest of the disciplines, the 800-meter run. The final event saw Anderson run a very respectable 2:31.94 for 669 points and to give her seventh place in the final standings.
“We had a couple of ups and downs, but overall we had a great day,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “Whitney represented us very well in the heptathlon and then to have Dacia (Barr) and Tominque (Boatright) advance in their events is a tremendous boost.”
While their teammate was fighting through the second day of the heptathlon, Arkansas freshmen Barr and Boatright each advanced into the finals of their respective events, the 1,500 and 400 meters. Barr cruised in her heat of the 1,500 when she ran 4:34.98 to finish second in her heat and earn one of the automatic qualifiers. Not near her season best nor the time she ran at the NCAA Championships of 4:25, Barr still has a lot in the tank for the next round.
The 400-meter run was not quite as easy for Boatright, but the freshman all-American was up to the challenge. Clocking out at 54.68, Boatright cruised to a career best time in the opening round which earned her one of the six times that did not automatically qualify for the finals. Hurt for most of the outdoor season, Boatright’s race was a sign to Arkansas’ coaches that she is healthy and ready to give it her best effort.
Also in juniors competition, Fayetteville, native Sydney Scarbrough also ran a career best, this time in the 200-meter run, of 24.39 only to finish 14th overall and just miss the event finals. Scarbrough improved upon her time from the Southeastern Conference Championships of 24.43 despite running into a 0.8 meters/second headwind.
On the senior circuit, former Lady Razorback and 2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deena (Drossin) Kastor finished fourth in the 10,000-meter run. A race Kastor has dominated in years past, she competed at the U.S. Championships despite coming off a recent injury and still managed to complete the six-plus mile competition in 31:45.08, just 12 seconds from winner, Katie McGreggor.
Senior Erica Sigmont concluded her season when she ran 2:05.53 in the 800-meter run semifinals, finishing one spot outside the nine-person finals. Attempting the 800 meters for just the second time in major competition, Sigmont is still a novice at the toughest of sprints, finish less than a half second away from the finals field.
The USA Track Championships continue through the weekend at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.