WALNUT, Calif. – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team continues to show promise with each competition and the first day of the Mt. San Antonio College Relays confirmed that as Arkansas added four NCAA regional and provisional qualifiers and improved on another.
Looking to earn more qualifiers in the distance races, the Lady’Backs turned to a veteran crew to handle the load. What Arkansas got in return was two NCAA provisional marks in the 10,000 meters from seniors Penny Splichal and Laura Jakosky, a regional mark in the 5,000 meters from senior Alison (Zeinner) Rush and a 1,500-meter qualifier in fellow fourth year Erica Sigmont.
“The upper classmen got it done today,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “Everyone looked strong in their races and picked up the qualifiers that we needed.”
Picking up an improvement was junior Maureen Scott in the steeplechase when she crossed the finish line in 10:24.82 to be the fourth collegiate to cross the line in a stacked field. The time is excellent for this time of year and is just eight seconds off her personal best of 10:16.01 which she ran on way to the Southeastern Conference Championship in the event last spring.
“Mo did a good job against a tough field,” Harter said. “Five of the first six finishers were post collegiates and two ran under 10 minutes. It would have been easy for her to fold but she hung in there and ran a very good time.”
The Lady Razorbacks also brought several athletes to Claremont, Calif., to compete in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational and Arkansas was well represented at the meet. Senior Kasia Williams was the top finisher in the 100-meter hurdles when she ran 13.41, followed closely by Beyonka McDowell who cruised across the line in 13.94 to take third.
Surprising some was freshman Beth Fahey who in the first 10,000-meter run of her career competed against both men and women to finish seventh overall and as the top female runner. Clocking 36:45.26, Fahey missed the NCAA provisional standard, but looked strong in her race.
Arkansas’ 4×100-meter relay also ran well as they attempted to move the relay baton around the track for the first time this season. Using Williams, freshmen Tominque Boatright and Sydney Scarbrough and sophomore Lakeisha Martin, the Lady Razorbacks crossed the finish line in 46.07 seconds to just miss the NCAA regional standard.
The Lady Razorbacks conclude action at the Mt. SAC Relays on Sunday afternoon in Walnut, Calif. For more information about the University of Arkansas women’s athletics department or about Lady Razorback track and field, visit www.ladybacks.com.