SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Led by freshman Christine Kalmer the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback cross country team dominated the 11-team field at the Aztec Invitational on Saturday morning at Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif., scoring 31 points in 52-point margin of victory.
Kalmer was Arkansas’ leading runner for the second straight week, finishing fourth overall and second among collegiates with a time of 17:59 on the 5,000-meter course. While her time was not quite as good as her mark from last week’s Missouri Southern Dual meet, Balboa park presented increased difficulties and a new environment for the South African native.
“We had a great day,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter beamed after the race. “The team ran side-by-side the whole way and we placed eight runners in front of every other team’s second. At the two-mile mark the girls knew they were in control and raced to maintain that.”
Arkansas’ 4-5-6-7-9 finish gave it 31 points which decimated second place Northern Arizona’s 83. The host San Diego State finished third with 98. While Kalmer continued to lead the Lady Razorbacks, the remainder of the team was quite different than it was a week ago. Freshman Dacia Barr finished fifth overall with a time of 18:00 while senior Laura Jakosky made her 2005 debut with a time of 18:05 and a sixth-place finish. Sophomore Caroline Peyton who didn’t figure into the scoring last week was Arkansas’ number four runner followed by freshman Denise Bargiachi, who was also running her first race as a Lady Razorback.
One of the most impressive things about the Lady Razorback finish on Saturday was the way in which the team stuck together. Only 21 seconds separated Arkansas’ top eight runners and 37 seconds spanned finishers one through 10. Still a young squad, eight of the Lady Razorback’s top 10 finishers were either freshmen or sophomores, including four of the top five.
Arkansas’ win keeps it perfect on the year with 11 wins to no losses. The Lady Razorbacks next challenge is the Notre Dame Invitational in two weeks where they should face even stiffer competition than they saw at the Aztec. For more information about Lady Razorback cross country or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.