PALO ALTO, Calif. – After a two-week break from action the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field team laces up the spikes to open the 2005 outdoor track season at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend.
Competing against a field of more than 4,000 collegiate, post collegiate and high school standouts, the Stanford Invitational has long been one of the most popular early season destinations of the nation’s top distance runners but has grown in size over the past several years. Arkansas has been one of the meet’s biggest supporters heading to the delightful weather of the area for the past several seasons and has been rewarded with spectacular performances in each of the last three seasons. The Lady Razorback’s 2004 journey led to eight NCAA provisional or regional qualifying marks in events as diverse as the 100 hurdles to steeplechase to pole vault.
“This is a chance for our team to get accustomed to running on the larger outdoor track in a competitive environment,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We’ve had some success here over the years and I expect the same this season.”
Arkansas is bringing 16 athletes to the 2005 Cardinal Invite, an increase from last season’s handful, but each Lady Razorback is scheduled to debut in mainly primary events which should set the stage for the rest of the outdoor track season.
“If we can get everyone qualified for regionals early then we can concentrate on relays and specific marks for the rest of the season,” Harter explained.
Beginning the action late on Friday will be the Arkansas 5,000 and 10,000 meter runners. The bulk of the action in northern California is scheduled for Saturday including the outdoor debut of NCAA indoor 800-meter champion Aneita Denton.
For more information about Lady Razorback track and field or about the University of Arkansas visit www.ladybacks.com.