AUSTIN, Texas – It was a welcome homecoming for University of Arkansas freshman Dacia Barr at 78th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Saturday afternoon as she anchored the Lady Razorback track team’s distance medley relay team to the championship.
Arkansas’ relay victory is its second on the weekend and the second for Barr and her three teammates, Erica Sigmont, Paige Farrell and Aneita Denton. Leading off Saturday’s race with Sigmont, she took the tempo of the race out quickly and grabbed a commanding lead on the 1200-meter leg of the race before handing off to Farrell for the 400-meter portion.
Maintaining Arkansas’ position, Farrell gave the baton to Denton, the NCAA indoor 800-meter champion for the same length of the DMR and she increased the Arkansas advantage to 40 meters with a 2:06 leg before handing off to the Austin, Texas, native, Barr.
Running a well-disciplined race, Barr started slow and picked up speed throughout her 1600-meter leg breaking any chance of a comeback from the field as she put the Lady Razorbacks across the finish line in 11:23.73, 10 seconds ahead of second-place, Oklahoma, 11:32.47.
"It was exciting," Barr said following the win. "I know a lot of people in the stands, high school friends and my high school coach."
"This was a very good weekend for us," said Lance Harter, head women’s track coach. "We had only won one Texas Relays championship prior to this season and to get two relays championships in one year is a real testament to the hard work that these young ladies have put in over the past year. I am very proud of all of them."
In the 100-meter hurdles, senior Kasia Williams put together a splendid race when she ran a career best 13.13 under legal wind to finish third overall. Williams trailed only the NCAA indoor 60-meter hurdles champion in Priscilla Lopes of Nebraska and Ashlee Williams of USC who each dipped under 13 seconds. Getting off to a good start, Williams was clean over each of the 10 hurdles allowing her to run her time which ranks just outside the Lady Razorback’s all-time top five.
The pole vault saw three Lady Razorbacks finish in the top six when each cleared the NCAA regional qualifying mark. Sophomore Jodi Driggers finished in fifth based on misses at 12 feet, 11 ½ inches and was matched by Stacie Manuel and Danielle O’Reilly who each cleared the bar on their third attempts.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action next weekend when they travel to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. For more information about Lady Razorback track and field or about Arkansas women’s athletics, visit www.ladybacks.com.