FAYETTEVILLE – Stephanie Brown and Jessica Jackson, member of the No. 18 University of Arkansas women’s cross country team, have earned Southeastern Conference weekly accolades as announced Tuesday by the league office. Brown was named the SEC Co-Runner of the Week while Jackson was selected as the SEC Freshman of the Week.
"When we recruited her, Stephanie Brown would be the first to tell you that she was a half-miler," head coach Lance Harter said. "Eight hundred meters against 6,000 meters are two different worlds. She used to think of herself as a bad cross country runner. This year, she is a very formidable runner and doesn’t just classify herself with the 800 meters."
Brown ran to a third-place individual finish last Friday at the Inter-Regional Bubble Buster in Toledo, Ohio. The sophomore runner navigated the 4K course at Ottawa Park in a time of 13:25, the fastest 4K time in program history. The race was the first of the season for Brown who is the reigning SEC Freshman Runner of the Year. Brown shares this week’s SEC Runner of the Week accolades with Genevieve LaCaze of Florida.
Jackson earns her second Freshman of the Week honor in as many competitions. She finished seventh overall at the Bubble Buster, crossed as Arkansas’ third scorer and was the top freshman performer in the race with a time of 13:38.5. The Neosho, Mo., native was previously honored by the conference following her season-opening win at the Arkansas Invitational.
"We have three freshmen following the examples of leadership set by Stephanie Brown and Kristen Gillespie," Harter said. "(Jessica Jackson) is just tough as a bulldog and a great individual. We’re really proud of the way she’s running right now."
As a team, the Razorbacks placed four runners in the top 10 on their way to the meet title at the Inter-Regional Bubble Buster. Joining Brown and Jackson in that group were seniors Kristen Gillespie and Jillian Rosen. All five of Arkansas’ scorers finished inside the top 12 of the race. The team title came against an eight-team field that included national ranked West Virginia and host Toledo.
On the heels of its performance last weekend, Arkansas jumped to No. 18 in the Sept. 27 release of the USTFCCCA national poll. The Razorbacks were previous unranked but receiving votes. Arkansas is the top-ranked SEC team in the rankings, ahead of No. 26 Florida and No. 30 Vanderbilt.
The Razorbacks return to the Midwest on Sept. 30 for the running of the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The 5K race is scheduled for a 3:15 p.m. (CT) start and will be run on the University of Notre Dame Golf Course.
For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.