IRVINE, Calif. – After a two-week hiatus from the track, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team began its 2006 outdoor season at the Collegiate Classic in Irvine, Calif., with its hammer throwers and 3,000-meter runners taking center stage.
While the majority of the Collegiate Classic takes place on Saturday, the meet administrators did fill the gap between the multi-event competition and the meat and potatoes of the weekend with the two events that saw a pair of Lady Razorbacks make their outdoor track debuts. Junior transfer Michelle Rossio tried her hand at the hammer for the first time in her career while freshman Jennifer Harper ran on a 400-meter track for the first-time this year.
Senior Brandy Blackwood led the way for the small group of Lady Razorbacks competing on the day as she finished second in the hammer throw with a toss of 173 feet, 1 inch. Well off her career best and Arkansas school record, Blackwood’s performance was a step in the right direction for the fifth-year thrower who is completing her outdoor track eligibility in 2006. Blackwood did not compete indoors because she had already thrown for four years in the winter months and stepped into the throwers circle for the first time outside of practice this season.
Rossio made her Lady Razorback debut as she also did not compete indoors in an attempt to balance out her eligibility. Donning the cardinal and white for the first time, Rossio finished sixth overall with a throw of 153 feet. Her throw had Arkansas’ coaches upbeat about her potential in the event since Friday was her first ever competition.
The evening’s events concluded with the 3,000-meter run and Harper was the lone Lady Razorback to take to the course. Clocking a time of 10:10.99, Harper was not far off her career best which she ran during the indoor season at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. Harper finished 11th overall in the competition.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.