LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In her debut at the national meet, redshirt sophomore Grace Heymsfield paced the University of Arkansas women’s cross country team with a 55th-place individual finish at the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships in Louisville, Ky. The Razorbacks finished in 18th place overall with 449 points. Saturday’s championship race was held at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.
In addition to the performance by Heymsfield, Arkansas’ scoring lineup featured Andrina Schlaepfer, Paige Johnston, Semehar Tesfaye and Keri Wood, respectively. None of the top five in Saturday’s race were part of the team’s scoring group at last year’s NCAA Championships.
For the second time during Arkansas’ championship season, Heymsfield was the first Razorback to cross the finish line. She navigated the 6,000-meter course in a time of 20:25.5 to finish 55th in the field of 253 runners. The Elkins, Ark., native was also the team’s top performer at the SEC Championships in October. Heymsfield redshirted the 2011 cross country season.
Schlaepfer, another NCAA meet newcomer for the Razorbacks, was the team’s second runner with a 99th-place finish. The freshman from Solothurn, Switzerland, crossed the finish line in a time of 20:47.9. Schlaepfer finished second in Arkansas’ lineup in all five races she entered this year. Having missed the 2011 cross country season, Johnston returned with a 114th-place finish for the Razorbacks. She clocked a time of 20:52.8.
Arkansas’ fourth runner to finish was Tesfaye. The transfer senior crossed the finish line in 21:03.5, good for 142nd place overall. Wood finished in 179th place to round out the Razorbacks’ top five. She posted a time of 21:21.6 at the national meet.
The remaining runners for Arkansas were Jessica Kamilos and Diane Robison, respectively. Kamilos was the sixth Razorback to finish, crossing the finish in 21:30.5 and a 198th-place effort. Robison closed out the team’s lineup with a 213th-place finish in a time of 21:36.6.
The Razorbacks were one of four teams from the Southeastern Conference in Saturday’s race and had the league’s top team finish. Arkansas finished ahead of Florida (23rd place), Vanderbilt (27th) and Georgia (30th). The Oregon women claimed the team title Saturday while Betsy Saina of Iowa State ran to the individual title.
For more information about Razorback cross country and other University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.
NCAA ChampionshipsE.P. Tom Sawyer State ParkLouisville, Ky.
18. Arkansas, 449 (41-72-85-109-142) 55. Grace Heymsfield – 20:25.5 99. Andrina Schlaepfer – 20:47.9 114. Paige Johnston – 20:52.8 142. Semehar Tesfaye – 21:03.5 179. Keri Wood – 21:21.6 198. Jessica Kamilos – 21:30.5 213. Diane Robison – 21:36.6