NEW ORLEANS – Arkansas women’s track and field has proven to be one of the most formidable programs of 2015-16 in the NCAA closing its historic year at No. 2 in the final Program of the Year standings.
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award annually recognizes the most outstanding cross country and track & field programs in each NCAA division for each gender. In order to be eligible for the award, an institution must qualify for each NCAA Championship. Points are assigned based on a team’s finish at each national championship (1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total combined score determining the award-meriting program.
Of the 15 programs that were eligible for consideration, the Razorbacks were the only member institution representing the Southeastern Conference.
Arkansas has been in the running for the Terry Crawford Program of the Year award four years in a row, finishing in third place following the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons and improving to second place during the last two years.
The 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, marked the beginning of Arkansas’ campaign for the coveted awarded.
Three-time SEC cross country champion Dominique Scott paced the Razorbacks to a ninth-place team finish with the help of freshman Devin Clark. Both were among the top 50 runners to complete the 6K course – Scott with the elite ranks placed third.
The indoor track and field season put a couple more freshmen on display as pole vaulters Lexi and Tori Weeks took the NCAA by storm surging into national rankings after the first meet of the season.
Their performance proved to be no fluke as the identical twins went on to account for 14 of Arkansas’ 50 points aiding the program’s national runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championship in Birmingham, Alabama. The Razorbacks also benefitted greatly at the indoor national meet from efforts by their heptathletes Taylor Ellis-Watson in the 400 and strong relay performances by the 1,600 relay and DMR quartets.
Arkansas closed the year with a victory at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championship which gave the team a final total of 12 – missing out on the Program of the Year title by a seven-point margin.
Final Program of the Year Standings – combined score
1. Oregon – 6
2. Arkansas – 12
3. Oklahoma State – 29.5
4. Michigan – 32.5
5. Stanford – 37.5
6. Texas – 39
7. Notre Dame – 39.5
8. New Mexico – 46.5
9. NC State – 50
10. Vanderbilt – 78.5
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.