FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team is splitting up in its last effort to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with athletes heading all over the United States on Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3.
One group of Lady Razorbacks stays at home to compete in the Arkansas Last Chance Qualifier at the Randal Tyson Track Center. That meet is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. with field events while running events start at 6:00 p.m. Other meets that will feature Lady Razorbacks are the Alex Wilson Invitational at the University of Notre Dame and the Cyclone Qualifier at Iowa State Univ.
“We have always said that we will do what it takes to give our student-athletes the best chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “This is just one example of that. Some of the nation’s best relays are going to Notre Dame and Iowa State is known for being fast so we’ll send some of our sprinters there.”
Scheduled to compete in Fayetteville are miler Lauren Lewis and pole vaulter Katie Stripling. Both competitors have yet to qualify for the NCAA Championships, but have shown tremendous promise over the last couple weeks. Lewis dropped her career best in the mile by 13 seconds at the SEC Championships just last weekend.
Notre Dame’s track features the Lady Razorback distance medley relay which has also yet to run a national qualifier. In fairness to the relay, the competition at Notre Dame is the first time that Arkansas plans to load the event with its four best runners. Leading off the race will be junior Dacia Barr followed by 400-meter record holder Jessica Cousins. Running the 800-meter portion of the race is going to be junior Paige Farrell followed by national qualifier Christine Kalmer.
Going to Ames, Iowa, and Iowa State University are 400-meter runner Tominque Boatright, 60-meter hurdler Tiavannia Thompson and long jumper Peter-Gaye Beckford. Boatright is coming off a fabulous run in the 4×400-meter relay at the SEC Championships where she came out of the blocks to split 52.7, a time that would be a near automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships. Thompson had a huge race at the Sooner Open two weeks ago that earned her SEC Athlete of the Week honors and hopes to duplicate the effort. Beckford has steadily improved throughout the indoor season and should be poised to improve her bubble qualifier.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.