EUGENE, Ore. – Junior Christine Kalmer and freshman Jillian Rosen finished with identical times to lead the fourth-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team to a second-place finish at the second annual Bill Dellinger Invitational in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday morning.
Kalmer was credited with 10th and Rosen 11th despite their identical marks of 20:38 for the 6,000-meter competition. They were trailed by junior Denise Bargiachi, 15th, sophomore Dani Parry, 19th, and freshman Catherine White, 35th, which gave the Lady Razorbacks a team score of 90. Unfortunately for the Lady Razorbacks, their score was not enough to hold off the host, 24th-ranked Oregon who took the team title with a splendid performance that saw it score 65 points. 17th-ranked Washington finished third, #21 Colorado State, fourth, and #18 BYU, fifth.
“I thought that we ran very well today,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We have changed our training this year compared to last because the roster has more veterans than it did a year ago. We did that to be better prepared for the SEC, NCAA regional and national championships coming up. That said, we are about three weeks behind where we were in 2006. Most of the team has run more miles this week than they ever have so today I looked at how they raced rather than their finish and I was very pleased.”
Of the 15 teams in attendance at the Dellinger, Arkansas’ top five runners ran closer than every other school minus one. The Lady’Backs placed just 36 seconds between their first and fifth runners compared to Oregon’s 1:07 and Washington’s 1:11. While the Arkansas spread may not have been enough to counter Oregon’s top three runners, the Lady’Backs did show great racing ability during the competition which set out as a grudge match between the Pacific 10 schools in attendance.
“Washington took control early,” Harter described. “Oregon worked its way up and caught them midway through the competition.”
The Lady Razorbacks kept pace with the Pac-10 schools throughout the race and were able to pick off runners as they trudged along the Springfield Country Club course. Four Lady Razorbacks finished the 6K competition in less than 21 minutes, a milestone mark for the distance. Kalmer and Rosen’s time of 20:38 are tied for the 31st fastest marks in Lady Razorback history. For Rosen, it was her first competitive 6,000-meter race.
Rounding out the Lady Razorback scoring seven were sophomore Megan Jackson who has been outstanding this fall and fellow second-year runner Miranda Walker.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action in two weeks when they participate in the annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at the Agri Park Cross Country Course in Fayetteville. For more information about Lady Razorback cross country or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.