FAYETTEVILLE- The University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks Cross Country team opened the 2007 season with a dominating victory over Missouri Southern at the Fayetteville Invitational which took place at Agri Park Cross Country Course in Fayetteville.
On a damp and muddy Friday night, freshmen runners Catherine White and Jillian Rosen were the Arkansas top finishers in the first collegiate competition of their careers. All but one of the first eleven to finish were Lady’Backs with the exception of Kimi Shank of Missouri Southern. The first five Lady’Backs all ran as a group for the entire 4,000 meter course and finished with times between 13:51 and 13:53. This group included the freshmen White and Rosen with the addition of sophomores Miranda Walker, Dani Parry, and junior Denise Bargiachi.
“We achieved our intention to run in a pack and to keep close proximity,” said Arkansas head coach Lance Harter. “We are also pleased to welcome the freshmen to their first collegiate competition with a successful 1-2 finish.”
A total of 12 Lady’Backs ran in the Fayetteville Invitational. In addition to the top five were seniors Tiffany Redlarczyk and Caroline Peyton; juniors Christine Kalmer, Jennifer Harper and Lauren Lewis; and sophomore Megan Jackson.
Arkansas’ victory is its 18th consecutive season opening day win dating back to 1989 and the eighth time it has won the Fayetteville Invitational. The Lady’Backs were hoping to get their fourth perfect score of 15 in five years, but Shank spoiled the dream by placing third. The Lady’Backs were forced to settle for a near perfect score of 18.
Next week, the Lady’Backs cross country team travels to the Aztec Invitational, held at Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif. For more information about the Lady’Backs cross country, visit www.ladybacks.com.