COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Clocking some of the fastest times in school history, senior Denise Bargiachi and sophomore Catherine White picked up All-America honors for Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field on day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.
"We are elated with this 5,000 meters," head coach Lance Harter said. "We had two PRs and got two All-America honors. Both have raced 18,000 meters in the last 13 days so this is pretty impressive for Denise (Bargiachi) and Catherine (White) to come out and race with such intensity. It speaks volumes about their training and fitness levels. They are special runners and keen competitors. And Denise scored points for us to put us on the board. We have an important day tomorrow with the vaulters and the mile relay."
Bargiachi was Arkansas’ top runner in the 5,000-meter final with a sixth-place finish. She clocked a personal best time of 16:01.30, the fourth-fastest time in Arkansas school history. She earned the second All-America honor of her career and improved on her 10th-place finish from the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships.
"Coach told me to stay on the inside as much as I could and it worked out well," Bargiachi said. "I’ve always wanted to score points at the NCAA Championships and I’m just so excited. It’s definitely a plus to race and train on a 200-meter banked track all season as opposed to running on a big track. It also helps to have a great teammate like Catherine (White) there with me. We stay focused together all weekend and we can warm up and race together. I couldn’t ask for anything more right now."
Bargiachi has shaved nearly 20 seconds off her career best in the event this season with her clocking of 16:21 at Washington in January, 16:15 at the last chance event last weekend and 16:01 Friday night.
White finished 11th in the packed 5,000-meter field. She too clocked a personal best with a time of 16:06.01 and was just off Arkansas’ all-time top-five list. White picked up her first All-America honor as she was the eighth American to cross the finish line.
Sophomore Shelise Williams began Arkansas’ day with a fourth-place finish in her section of the 200-meter dash, running 54.05. Her time was good enough for 12th overall. In the long jump senior Peter-Gaye Beckford finished 15th with a jump of 19-3.5. Both missed qualifying for the final in their respective events.
The Razorbacks sit tied for 31st place with three points in the team standings after day one of competition. Saturday’s events include the pole vault and the 4×400-meter relay for the Arkansas women.
For complete results of the NCAA Indoor Championships, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or AggieAthletics.com.
Download: NCAA Day 1.pdf