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Cross Country Fact Sheet #3

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Cross Country Fact Sheet #3

Another Win: The Lady Razorback cross country team is a perfect 13-0-0 as a team this season with team victories at the Fayetteville Invitational and Aztec Invite.

Impressive at Aztec: Arkansas dominated the field at the Aztec Invitational. Finishing with 20 points, the Lady Razorbacks were 40 ahead of the next closest competitor, Long Beach State, and finished 2-3-4-5-6 to accumulate their final score.

21 Seconds: Arkansas head coach Lance Harter has said for years that if his team can run within 20 seconds of each other than they can be a formidable group. At the Aztec Invitational, the Lady’Backs put 21 seconds between their first and fifth runners.

Upshaw Leads the Way: it didn’t take long for freshman Brooke Upshaw to become a contributor to the Lady Razorback lineup. At the Fayetteville Invitational she was Arkansas’ third runner and then at the Aztec she was the front runner. Upshaw was truly impressive in San Diego as she finished just nine seconds behind the eventual winner.

17:28 for 5K: The Balboa Park cross country course isn’t impossible, but it isn’t easy either and to see Brooke Upshaw finish the race in 17:28 was an impressive sight for Arkansas’ coaches. To put her achievement into perspective, former NCAA Champion and multiple-time all-American Johanna Nilsson of Northern Arizona won the Aztec Invite in 2005 with a time of 17:29 and was well in front of the field.

Another Freshman-Sophomore Five: In two weeks of cross country, Arkansas is seeing what they expected and that is a freshman and sophomore dominated lineup. At both meets this fall three freshmen and two sophomores were in the top five and eight different first and second-year runners made up the Lady’Back top eight.

The Bill Dellinger Invitational: While Arkansas has been the top team in each of their opening meets, that won’t be the case at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. The Eugene field should be stacked with some of the nation’s top talent and the large field should give Arkansas an almost pre-nationals feel to it. How Arkansas fairs at the Oregon meet could be an indicator of things to come.

6K: The Lady Razorbacks get their first taste of a 6,000-meter course this weekend at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. The distance is the same that is contested at the SEC, NCAA Regional and NCAA Championships and should be an even better test of Arkansas’ ability. For the Lady Razorbacks, the distance is the third in as many races after starting with a 4,000-meter run followed by a 5K last weekend.

The Field: It will be a loaded field at the Bill Dellinger Invitational this weekend with seven top 30 teams entered in the field. Fifth-ranked Duke is the highest seeded squad followed by #6 BYU and #8 Arkansas. Other top 30 schools include #10 Washington, #26 Indiana, #28 Oregon and #30 Butler.

Opening at #8: The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team opened the 2006 season ranked eighth in the nation. Released on Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Lady Razorbacks tallied 269 points in the national poll. Ahead of Arkansas are Stanford, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma State, BYU, Illinois and Duke. The Lady Razorbacks ended the 2005 season ranked 16th in the final poll.

Highest Since: Arkansas’ preseason #8 ranking is its highest since the 2000 season when it entered the year #7. In 2002, the Lady Razorbacks were ranked ninth, and subsequent years placed Arkansas in the teens.

Regional Ranking: The Lady Razorbacks opened the season at the top of the regional rankings and after a pair of weeks without a loss, appear as if they will stay on top. In 2005 Arkansas and Baylor fought for the region’s #1 ranking and with Baylor at number two this year it appears the two teams will duke it out again.

The SEC Freshman of the Year: Thanks to a tremendous season and a fifth-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championships, Christine Kalmer was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Year in 2005. She became the second Lady Razorback to win the award since its inception in 2001.

First-Team All-SEC and All-Region: Along with her freshman of the year award, Christine Kalmer was also named first-team all-SEC and all-South Central Region in 2005 based on her performances at both championships.

Razorback Hall of Honor: A pair of Lady Razorbacks were inducted into the Razorback Hall of Honor last weekend marking the first time two people with women’s athletics ties have been enshrined in the same season. Former Lady’Back and 15-time all-American Amy Yoder Begley was voted on along with her former coach and current head coach Lance Harter. Both inductees received their plaques at halftime of the USC football game on Sept. 2 after an induction banquet on Friday, Sept. 1.

Academic all-American: It should be pointed out that senior Maureen Scott not only gets the job done on the cross country course but in the classroom as well. Following six semesters of perfect 4.0 grade point averages, Scott earned her second first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honor and has a chance to be the first three-time honoree in Lady Razorback history.

The SEC Coaches’ Poll: After several years away from the top spot in the conference, the Southeastern Conference coaches feel that the Lady Razorbacks are poised for greatness again. In the annual preseason coaches’ poll, the Lady Razorbacks were picked to finish first in the conference, barely edging Tennessee, the three-time reigning conference champion. Arkansas picked up seven of the 12 first-place votes cast for a total of 117 points. Tennessee was given the remaining first-place votes and was right behind Arkansas with 114 points. What could be a very good Georgia squad was third with 99 points.

A Legacy of Winning: Arkansas has long been known for its winning cross country program, but one little known fact is that the Lady Razorbacks have won their last 17 opening meets of the season and 19 of the last 23.



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