FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team has been picked 18th in the nation according to the preseason FinishLynx/NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Poll released on Wednesday.
Arkansas’ harriers were chosen second in the annual Southeastern Conference preseason coaches’ poll, then topped the South Central region rankings which help comprise the FinishLynx rankings. Stanford leads the way with 10 first-place votes and the number one ranking. Providence sits second with three first-place votes with Brigham Young, Notre Dame and North Carolina State rounding out the top five. Interestingly, Arkansas is the top team in the SEC in the poll with Tennessee ranked 22nd and Georgia and Vanderbilt receiving votes.
“Considering last year and who we have returning the ranking doesn’t surprise me,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “I think that the voters looked at what we did during the outdoor track season last year and that we’ve earned some respect from years past. To be honest I think we’re a better team than our ranking shows.”
The Lady Razorbacks opened their season in fine fashion last Friday night when they took five of the top six spots in the annual Fayetteville Invitational, despite not running their ‘A’ lineup. Junior Penny Splichal led the way with her second career victory and was followed closely by fellow junior Laura Jakosky who claimed second. On the sidelines for the Lady Razorbacks during the opening weekend were 2003 NCAA Championships participant Shiloh Whiting, all-SEC Performers Maureen Scott and Alison Zeinner and four-time track all-American Erica Sigmont.
Arkansas gets its first taste of major competition this weekend when it travels to Terre Haute, Ind., to participate in the Indiana State Invitational.
FinishLynx/NCAA Division IPreseason Women’s Cross Country Poll
|Others Receiving Votes: California 15, Georgia 13, William & Mary 9, Texas Tech 5, Toledo 5, UC-Santa Barbara 5, Illinois 2, Vanderbilt 2, Washington St. 2, Dartmouth 1.|