FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field team was informed that it would have 10 chances to compete at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., next week following the posting of the final list of qualifiers for the championship.
Arkansas’ 10 athletes have the opportunity to compete in events as diverse as the 100 hurdles, hammer throw and steeplechase and are in nine different events. Seven of Arkansas’ 10 athletes secured their tickets through NCAA automatic qualifying either through their season best marks or at the NCAA Mideast Regional last weekend, but three Lady Razorbacks were on the bubble and each picked earned their spot into the meet.
“To have 10 athletes going to the national championship is a real treat,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We have some really good chances to score and also some athletes that will get their first chance to compete at the national level. It should be a great experience for everyone.”
Those that learned of their NCAA fate on Tuesday included seniors Laura Jakosky and Erica Sigmont in the 5,000 and 800 meters, respectively, and freshman Dacia Barr in the 1,500-meter run. Arkansas’ coaches felt that Sigmont and Jakosky each had very good opportunities to earn a berth, but were unsure of Barr’s chance. As it turns out Jakosky enters the championship with the 15th best time, Sigmont the 16th and Barr took the last qualifying spot at 27.
The trio joins NCAA automatic qualifiers Beyonka McDowell in the heptathlon and Alison (Zeinner) Rush in the 10,000 meters. Those that earned their qualifiers through the regional championship include Aneita Denton in the 800, Maureen Scott in the steeplechase, Kasia Williams in the 100 hurdles, Stacie Manuel in the pole vault and Brandy Blackwood in the hammer throw. Of Arkansas’ 10 student-athletes competing at the meet, six saw action at the 2004 championships in Austin, Texas, while the other three were participants at the 2005 indoor meet.
Competition at the NCAA Championships begins on Wednesday, June 8, and runs through Saturday, June 11, in Sacramento, Calif. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, visit www.ladybacks.com.