INDIANAPOLIS – Freshman Denise Bargiachi of the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team was the first current or former Lady Razorback to compete at the USA Senior or Junior Track and Field Championships on Thursday afternoon at the IU Michael A. Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI.
Following a long season and a healthy break from competition, Bargiachi went toe-to-toe with some of the nation’s best junior runners in the 3,000-meter run. Battling a heat index of over 100 degrees at race time, Bargiachi made the most of her opportunity by finishing sixth overall in 10:10.65. Her time made her the second collegiate runner behind Indiana’s Wendi Robinson.
“I think that this was a situation where Denise is not in top track shape,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “Since the end of the track season she has been preparing for cross country and that hurt her for this race. She has not raced competitively since mid-May and a break like that can really take its toll.”
Junior phenom Jordan Hasay won the race easily, but in Harter’s estimation was not her normal self as she dealt with the weather.
“The last couple of races we’ve seen Hasay run, she really took it out and pushed the pace,” Harter said. “She didn’t do that today and that is absolutely because of what the weather was doing.”
Preparing to run Thursday evening was former Lady Razorback Christin Wurth-Thomas, but at the last minute, the USA Track and Field officials decided to cancel the preliminaries of the 1,500-meter run and let the 16 competitors race in just the event finals on Saturday evening.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.