NEW YORK – In search for additional NCAA qualifiers, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team has gone to the bright lights of the Big Apple to compete at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory in New York City.
Armed with four NCAA provisional marks, the Lady Razorbacks hope to double that number by the end of the weekend and a good place for them to accomplish the task is in the 4×400 and distance medley relays. Last season, Arkansas’ DMR set the University record when they ran 11:09.09. While two of the four pieces of that record are still with the team in Paige Farrell and Tominque Boatright, former Lady’Backs Aneita Denton and Erica Sigmont ran the two longest portions of the race.
“It will be hard to break that record,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We lost two amazing athletes from that relay and to duplicate that feat would really be something else. I would be happy if we could run a solid NCAA qualifier and guarantee ourselves a spot at the national championship.”
Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay could also turn some heads this weekend as a new lineup of athletes attempts to improve on Arkansas’ season best of 3:42.03 which they ran at the Arkansas Invitational. Scheduled to take the baton are Farrell, Boatright and newcomers Sasha Rolle and Jessica Cousins.
The Lady Razorbacks could also be strong in the pole vault where NCAA qualifiers Jodi Unger and Stephanie Irwin are joined by Danielle O’Reilly to form one of the strongest vaulting teams in the nation. Unger and Irwin have each cleared 13-1 ½ for their NCAA qualifiers, but O’Reilly could be the best of the bunch. As a senior in New Jersey in 2003, O’Reilly jumped 13-5 at the Armory to set the high school indoor record.
The Lady Razorbacks start competition at the Armory at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.