SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The 10th-ranked University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team takes an undefeated record into one of the nation’s toughest competitions of the season on Friday evening when they face eight of the top 30 teams in the country at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., at 4:15 p.m.
Arkansas opened the year with two consecutive team victories, but neither race included the type of competition that the Lady Razorbacks are going to face in Indiana. Arkansas, number 10, toes the line against the host and third-ranked Notre Dame, fifth-ranked Michigan, #12 Wake Forest, #18 Butler, #20 Illinois, #22 Missouri, #28 Florida State and #29 Michigan State.
“We certainly have our hands full this week,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “This is going to be a great test of what our younger runners can do. We only have three seniors racing this weekend so it is up to some of our freshmen and sophomores to step up if we want to be among the top three. I am confident that if we can perform the way that we have for the past two races, that we should be among the leaders.”
Leading the way for the Lady Razorbacks this season is freshman Christine Kalmer. She claimed the individual title in Arkansas’ dual meet with Missouri Southern at the beginning of the month, then finished fourth overall behind a pair of post collegiates and a former NCAA Champion at the Aztec Invitational. The remainder of Arkansas’ lineup has been in flux for two races, but Harter has the ability to run nine at the Notre Dame meet.
“We are bringing 12 to the meet this weekend and will make a decision on the day of the meet as to the final nine that we have race,” said Harter. “The remainder of the young ladies will compete in another race, but not as a team.”
Other Lady Razorbacks that are heading to the Hoosier State include Denise Bargiachi, Dacia Barr, Beth Fahey, Jessie Gordon, Jennifer Harper, Laura Jakosky, Laura Kerr, Caroline Peyton, Tiffany Redlarczyk, Penny Splichal and Kelly Vrshek. Each has donned the Arkansas cardinal and white this fall and at the Aztec Invitational, the Lady Razorbacks put just 21 seconds between their top eight runners which allows the Lady Razorback coaches to count on any individual at any contest.
For more information about Lady Razorback cross country or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.