WALNUT, Calif. – Sophomores Paige Farrell and Tiffany Redlarczyk joined the University of Arkansas track team’s assault on the NCAA Mideast Regional when they posted qualifiers on the first day of the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif.
Farrell was the first Lady Razorback to take the track when she stepped to the line in the 800 meters. Running against stout competition, Farrell looked sharp from the beginning and used her closing speed to her distinct advantage to run 2:07.71, finishing third in her heat and fourth overall. Farrell’s time is a career best outdoors for the Springdale, Ark., native and continue her string of impressive performances that began at the SEC Indoor Championships in February.
“Paige was asked to execute a plan and that was to go out and get into the lead,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “She ended up taking command through 600 meters then was challenged by a Canadian, with 120 meters to go. She was nipped at the tape by a Stanford runner, but she executed the game plan perfectly. Today’s race was a big step forward for Paige.”
In the steeplechase, Redlarczyk looked surprisingly fluid despite limited practice sessions as she ran 10:43.91 to dip way under the regional qualifier of 10:50.25. Setting herself up early, Redlarczyk stayed with the lead pack until the final laps of the race. Kristin Anderson, running unattached, led the race from the beginning and crossed the finish 15 seconds ahead of the field, but Redlarczyk’s performance placed her fourth among all competitors and third against just collegiate runners.
“With Tiffany, we were trying to get our qualifier out of the way,” Harter said. “She got out and in position early and was just out kicked at the end. This is her first steeplechase of the year and she picked up a comfortable regional qualifier. We still have a lot to work on like getting out of the water jump, but that will come. She is handling the strength work that we have been doing very well and that is the first step.”
Arkansas ended its first day of competition at the Mt. SAC Relays with the 10,000-meter run and saw freshman Denise Bargiachi just miss the regional qualifier of 16:52.00, when she finished the 12-plus lap race in 16:53.40. Running a steady pace throughout the competition, Bargiachi needed to make up a second over the final three laps, but battling an illness and the rigors of 5,000 meters caught up to the Memphis, Tenn., native and she came up just short of her goal.
The Lady Razorbacks continue action on the Pacific coast with the second day of the Mt. SAC Relays and the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational late Friday night. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.