PALO ALTO, Calif. – It was a highly productive weekend for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., as the Lady Razorbacks picked up an additional four qualifiers for the NCAA Championships on the second day of competition highlighted by junior Dacia Barr’s 1,500-meter run.
For the weekend, Arkansas brought eight athletes to the Stanford University hosted meet and picked up six NCAA marks including a perfect four for four on day two.
“You can’t ask for much more than we did this weekend,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We came here hoping to get a few qualifiers and picked up six so I am very pleased. I was really impressed with Dacia’s 1,500 meters and Christine’s (Kalmer) 5,000, but what shocked us the most was the two little ones, Dani Parry and Megan Jackson who both qualified.”
Barr’s race was of particular interest to the Arkansas coaching staff that looked on in eager anticipation to see how the junior would race pain free. Barr broke a toe during the indoor season and has been in a walking boot since. Her race at Stanford would mark her first without an injection to dull the pain as she competed. Getting off to a solid start, Barr showed no ill effects to her to toe and ran a personal best 4:18.00 in the 1,500. She broke her previous best by more than a second to finish eighth in her race which also featured several post collegiates. Barr’s time was also just outside Arkansas’ all-time top five performances.
The Lady’Backs also picked up great performances in the 5,000 meters with Kalmer and Parry. Running in separate races, Kalmer recorded a 16-second personal best in the fast heat while Parry, who was running in her first collegiate 5K, ran just 23 seconds slower than her teammate. Kalmer crossed the finish in 16:16.33 in a race that also featured former Lady Razorback great Amy Yoder Begley. Parry’s time of 16:39.83 was well under the NCAA regional standard of 16:52.00.
Rounding out the day’s efforts was Jackson in the steeplechase. Competing for just the second time in the event, Jackson dropped her time 30 seconds in a week to record her regional qualifier at 10:45.50. Getting over her fears and attacking hurdles, Jackson looked like a seasoned veteran as she rounded the Palo Alto track. Her time was good for 10th place in her race, but more importantly gave her the regional qualifier that she needed to relax and work on technique the rest of the season.
The Lady Razorbacks travel as a team next weekend to the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.