FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team was tabbed to finish second in the annual Southeastern Conference women’s cross country poll conducted by the league coaches on Monday afternoon.
The Lady Razorbacks are ranked just two points behind the defending SEC Champion Tennessee Lady Vols and picked up four of the 12 first-place votes. Tennessee took six first-place tallies and Georgia; the third-ranked team took two.
“I think that this year’s poll is a reflection of last year’s SEC Championship results,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “I am surprised that more coaches didn’t pick Georgia to win, but I also think that the SEC will be surprised when they see us at full strength this fall.”
The 2005 SEC poll is strikingly similar to the conference’s 2004 championship results with the top three spots remaining the same. Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Alabama were the only teams that moved up in the preseason poll.
The Lady Razorbacks return four seniors to the 2005 roster who have earned a total of five all-conference and nine all-region honors. They are joined by returnees like Tiffany Redlarczyk and Beth Fahey who were excellent for the Lady Razorbacks in 2004.
While the Lady Razorbacks bring most of their team back in 2005, it could be their newcomers that make a sound impact this fall. Four new Lady Razorbacks join the veteran squad and following a week of practice have impressed Arkansas’ coaching staff. The quartet of Denise Bargiachi, Jennifer Harper, Christina Kalmer and Kelly Vrshek should each battle for a spot on the traveling roster this fall.
The Lady Razorbacks kick off the season next Friday evening when they host the Fayetteville 5K at the Agri Park Cross Country Course in Fayetteville.
|SEC Preseason Women’s Cross Country Poll|