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Lady’Backs head west for more qualifiers

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs head west for more qualifiers

WALNUT, Calif. – Coming off a tremendous weekend at the Texas Relays, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team hopes to continue its positive momentum as it heads to the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif., this weekend.

Concentrating mainly on the distance races, the Lady Razorbacks are bringing 17 athletes to the west coast with 11 competing in races longer than 1500 meters. One of the focal points of the weekend is the 10,000-meter run where Penny Splichal, Laura Jakosky, Jessie Gordon and Beth Fahey all look for a NCAA qualifier. Gordon met the provisional standard at the Stanford Invitational three weeks ago when she broke through with a time of 34:39.45, but will likely have to run several seconds faster to guarantee a spot at the NCAA meet. Splichal, Jakosky are each running in their first 10k of the season while Fahey competes in the race for the first time in her career.

“We are really hoping that we can get a few more qualifiers in on the weekend,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We should be able to do that in several areas. For example, Aneita Denton has yet to qualify and she is the NCAA Champion at 800 meters indoors. After this weekend we should have a better idea of what we will have at the NCAA regional.”

Other races that Arkansas is looking to produce in are the steeplechase and 800-meters. The Steeplechase includes 2004 NCAA Championship participants Maureen Scott and Shiloh Whiting along with sophomore Laura Kerr and redshirt freshman Tiffany Redlarczyk. Arkansas’ 800-meter runners include Denton and Springdale, Ark., native Paige Farrell.

Farrell currently holds the 33rd fastest time in the nation in the 800-meter run, but has only run the race one time. Her partner Denton has yet to compete at the distance as both have run exclusively on Lady Razorback relays over the past couple meets. The two were NCAA indoor championship participants in March with Denton taking the national title in the event.

The Mt. SAC Relays run throughout the weekend with several Lady Razorbacks also participating in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.



Sports Category : Track & Field (W)