FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Following their dominant outing at the 2017 SEC Outdoor Championships last weekend the No. 2 Arkansas women’s track and field team has secured 24 entries into the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas on May 25-27.
The NCAA West Preliminary meet is one of two regional events, which serve as the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Athletes gain entry into the competition by having one of the top-48 best marks of the region (East or West) in their respective events. In order to advance to the final round in Eugene, Oregon an athlete must finish among the top-12 best (per region) in their respective events.
The 24 Razorback entries are primarily Arkansas distance runners with the 5,000-meter run, featuring five Hogs, the 1,500 featuring four and the steeplechase featuring two. Off the track, Arkansas’ representation in the field events at the West Prelims will fall solely on the pole vault.
Arkansas multis Taliyah Brooks, Leigha Brown, Kelsey Herman and Payton Stumbaugh all had marks which qualified them for the West Prelims in additional events but opted to focus on preparing to attack the heptathlon with all of their energy at outdoor nationals.
Year-by-Year Entry Count (National Finish)
• 2017 – 28 (TBD)
• 2016 – 37 (1st)
• 2015 – 26 (4th)
• 2014 – 21 (9th)
• 2013 – 22 (8th)
• 2012 – 26 (24th)
• 2011 – 20 (14th)
The Razorbacks will rely heavily on its underclassmen to step up and advance in the next week at the West Prelims. Head coach Lance Harter’s preliminary squad includes seven freshmen, Jada Baylark, Alex Byrnes, Abby Gray, Rachel Nichwitz, Maddy Reed, Carina Viljoen and Taylor Werner. Additionally, the young group of qualifiers also includes eight sophomores.
Solo Double Duty
Four Razorbacks, Baylark (100/200), Sydney Brown (1,500/5K), Kiara Parker (100/200) and Regan Ward (Steeplechase/5K) will pursue final round qualification in two events apiece. Parker advanced through to Eugene as a freshman last season in both the 100 and as a member of the Razorbacks’ 4-x-100-meter relay team.
400 Meter Hurdles
3,000 Meter Steeplechase
4-x-100 Meter Relay
Taliyah Brooks, Payton Stumbaugh, Daina Harper, Kiara Parker
4-x-400 Meter Relay
Kiara Parker, Daina Harper, Damajahnee Birch, Ceara Watson
Heptathlon (Through to NCAAs in Eugene)
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.