Another Dominating Win: The Lady Razorbacks opened the 2007 season with another dominating victory at the Fayetteville Invitational. Arkansas tallied 18 points at the meet to easily distance itself from second-place Missouri Southern (45).
18th Straight: The Lady Razorbacks opened the 2007 season with win at the Fayetteville Invitational, their 18th consecutive opening meet victory. The Lady’Backs have won six different competitions over the years with their last opening day loss coming in 1989.
1.9 Seconds: That was the difference between Arkansas’ top runner, Catherine White, and its fifth runner, Dani Parry at the Fayetteville Invitational. Considering that the Lady’Backs like to run as a group, the time differential is staggering. If you look at Arkansas’ top seven runners, there was just a 16 second difference which is usually the difference between most team’s top two or three finishers.
First Race, First Win: Freshman Catherine White got her Lady Razorback cross country career off to a fast start with a victory at the Fayetteville Invitational. She is the first true freshman to win her first collegiate race since Christine Kalmer won the Fayetteville Invite in 2005.
SEC Freshman of the Week: Fresh off her victory at the Fayetteville Invitational, Catherine White was named the SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office on Tuesday. White won her first collegiate competition at the Fayetteville Invitational and takes her first freshman of the week honor.
First Time: For the first time the Southeastern Conference is naming a freshman of the week in cross country. Catherine White’s appointment makes her the first in SEC and Arkansas history to win the weekly award.
Opening at Four: The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team opened the 2007 season ranked fourth in the nation by the voters of the US Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Lady’Backs ended the 2006 season ranked second.
Best Opening Ranking Since: Arkansas’ fourth place week one ranking is its best since the 1999 season when it opened the year ranked second. That year the Lady Razorbacks went on to finish second at the NCAA Championships.
Last Season at the Aztec: In a 12-team field, the Lady Razorbacks were dominant at the 2006 Aztec Invitational. Arkansas scored 20 points to win by 40 over second-place Long Beach St. (60). Lady Razorback runners finished 2-3-4-5-6-7-9 to snare the team titles with former Lady’Back Brooke Upshaw taking the first Arkansas finish.
Two-Time Defending Champion: The Lady Razorbacks are the two-time defending champions of the Aztec Invitational in San Diego. In 2005 the Lady Razorbacks surprised some by winning their first time out to the race run at historic Balboa Park with 31 points. Arkansas’ 2006 victory was more dominating than 2005.
Toughest Field: If the Lady Razorbacks hope to win a third straight Aztec Invitational Championship they are going to have to work for it. The 2007 lineup for the Aztec is the toughest field Arkansas has had to face with the likes of UC-Santa Barbara, Northern Arizona and the host San Diego St. UC-Santa Barbara is receiving votes in the national poll while Northern Arizona was at the NCAA Championships a year ago.
Who Will Race: The Lady Razorbacks plan to bring 10 runners to the Aztec Invitational this weekend headlined by juniors Christine Kalmer and Denise Bargiachi and freshman Catherine White. Eight of the Lady’Backs competing this weekend have raced on the course before giving Arkansas the added advantage of familiarity.
First-Place Finishes: Aside from the NCAA Championships a year ago, the Lady Razorbacks ran off a streak of six straight first-place finishes. Taking away the Championships, that left four regular season first-place honors. The last time a Lady Razorback squad did not finish in first during the regular season was Oct. 15, 2005 when it finished second at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival.
SEC Freshman of the Year: Last fall, Dani Parry was so good for the Lady Razorbacks that she earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Parry was consistently a member of Arkansas’ top seven and one of its top four runners in four of seven races.
Third Freshman of the Year: Dani Parry’s SEC Freshman of the Year award is not new to a member of the Lady Razorbacks. Since the awards inception in 2001, three Lady Razorbacks have been bestowed its honor. Aside from Parry, Christine Kalmer (2005) and Penny Splichal (2001) have also earned the award.
SEC Preseason Poll: In the annual SEC Preseason Poll the Lady Razorbacks were the overwhelming favorite to win the SEC title. Garnering all 11 of the first-place votes it could have received (Arkansas was not allowed to vote for itself), the Lady Razorbacks picked up the maximum 121 points. Tennessee, who received the only other first-place vote finished second with 105 points with Florida a close third at 102.