FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas junior Denise Bargiachi has been added to the NCAA Indoor Championship field it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The addition of Bargiachi to the field increases Arkansas’ total number of competing student-athletes to 12 with opportunities to score nine times in seven different events.
“I am really happy that Denise was added to the field,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We thought that it was a possibility yesterday and we got the phone call this afternoon to confirm it. Denise has had a wonderful season and is very deserving.”
NCAA policy calls for a field of 284 student-athletes per gender to compete at the indoor national championship and for Bargiachi to be added to the field, one of the original runners would have to be removed. That happened when Michigan’s Alyson Kohlmeier withdrew from the competition to an injury leaving the door open for the SEC Champion, Bargiachi.
Entering the championships, Bargiachi has a career best time of 16:25.34 which she ran two weeks ago at the SEC Championships. The time ranked her 17th on the national descending order list, one spot outside the 16 originally selected for NCAA competition. While every race sets up differently, it stands to reason that Bargiachi would have to run a personal best again on Friday night if she wishes to earn her first all-America honor.
“Denise has big meet experience,” Harter said. “She was a finalist in the 10,000 meters outdoors, so the size of the field or the weight of the event shouldn’t bother her. She just needs to go out and execute and she’ll surprise a lot of people.”
The NCAA Championships begin on Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. with the men’s heptathlon. Running event finals are slated for 7:50 p.m. start with the women’s 5,000 meters scheduled for 8:30 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.