FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Despite a lengthy rain delay, Arkansas Razorback women’s track and field turned in a solid day of competition on day one of the NCAA Championships. Four student-athletes advanced to the finals of their respective events on Wednesday at John McDonnell Field.
"That was a tough rain delay but we saw it coming and I think it turned into a solid day for us," head coach Lance Harter said. "The pole vault went pretty well and we got Katie Stripling and Sarah Landau to the finals. Shelise Williams is a force to be reckoned with in the 400 meters and every race she gets better and better. Denise Bargiachi capped it off for us advancing to the 5K finals after a very late prelim. We are ready for tomorrow with Etienne (Chaplin) in the heptathlon."
The women’s pole vault was an important event for the Razorbacks and two advanced to Friday’s final. Junior Katie Stripling finished tied for first, clearing 13-5.25 with 10 other student-athletes. Senior Sarah Landau finished tied for 11th with her height of 13-1.5.
Sophomore Tara Diebold and junior Janice Keppler came up short. Diebold finished 19th with her height of 12-9.5 and Keppler was able to clear the opening bar of 12-3.5.
Sophomore Shelise Williams ran her first of potentially three quarter-mile races after a nearly four-hour rain delay. In the 400-meter prelims, Williams finished second in her heat and eighth overall with a time of 53.35. She will run in Friday’s semifinals at 7:15 p.m.
Senior Denise Bargiachi raced her way to a spot in the 5,000-meter finals. She finished sixth in her heat to automatically advance. Her prelim time of 16:20.35 was 11th overall in the prelims. She will run in Friday’s 8:15 p.m. finals.
Also in the 5,000 meters, senior Christine Kalmer finished 10th in her heat and 23rd overall with her time of 16:51.25 but did not advance to the finals.
Thursday’s events will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the field events, 11:15 a.m. with the multi events and 5:30 p.m. with the running events. Arkansas’ first event of the day is the heptathlon. Senior Etienne Chaplin will run the 100-meter hurdles at 11:15 a.m.
For complete results and more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.