FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country coach Lance Harter announced the signing of four prep stars on Thursday afternoon for the fall 2006 season including a pair of nationally recruited sensations from Southlake, Texas.
Brooke Upshaw and Miranda Walker have been teammates for many years and as training partners have worked their way to the top of the recruiting charts of some of the nation’s top programs. With identitcal career bests of 4:53 for 1,600 meters, Walker holds a slight advantage over Upshaw in the 3,200-meter run, 10:32-10:38.
“When you look at the national list of prep stars, Brooke and Miranda are at the top of everyone’s list,” Harter said. “They’ve been friends since the sixth grade and are inseparable. They come from a strong team philosophy and that is evident in their team’s success.”
As teammates, Walker and Upshaw have led Carroll High School to three district and four regional championships in cross country along with two state silver medals. The pair also helped the Carroll Dragons to an eighth-place national ranking. Walker has been no worse than sixth at any Texas district, region or state meet and as a junior was a Foot Locker Cross Country finalist. Upshaw finished fourth in the state cross country championships as a sophomore before taking runner-up honors as a junior on way to the Foot Locker Championships.
Hailing from Middlebury, Ind., Megan Jackson has also been successful at the state, conference, sectional and regional level. A four-time all-state performer and three-time most valuable runner for Northridge High School, Jackson holds personal bests of 5:01 for 1,600 meters and 10:49 for 3,200 meters.
“Megan has the unique combination of speed and endurance,” Harter said. “At the state track championships last year she ran 2:12 in the 800 meters, then came back two hours later to run a personal best for two miles. We actually got a referral to her from former Lady’Back Amy Yoder Begley who saw her run at the Indiana state championships.”
Rounding out the Lady Razorback’s signing class is Danielle Parry from Fort Collins, Colo. Another solid performer at her state championships, Parry was 12th as a freshman before picking up two consecutive fifth-place finishes and a fourth-place finish as a senior. She was all-state and all-conference in both cross country and track and holds the Rocky Mountain High School record in the 4×800-meter relay. As a member of the Lobos cross country team, Parry won three regional titles and finished second in the state as a senior.
“Danielle is a very high recruit because of her cross country prowess,” Harter said. “Her track season last year was cut short because of an illness, but despite that she is running her best now and is the top runner on another team that is nationally ranked.
“Overall, this is probably one of the top three recruiting classes that I’ve had here at Arkansas. Each of these recruits are impact type of athletes and I think that with them and the freshman class that we have this year who continues to surprise people, our fans can make plans for a return trip to the top of the NCAA over the next few years.”
For more information about Lady Razorback cross country or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to ladybacks.com.