FAYETTEVILLE – With a week away from competition, the No. 3 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team returns to action this weekend to host the Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. Action begins Friday at noon (CT) with the beginning of the multi events while Saturday’s events begin at 11 a.m.
In addition to the pentathlon, Friday’s field events will begin at 3 p.m. with the pole vault and running events will get under way at 6:30 p.m. with the 60-meter dash prelims. Saturday’s slate starts with running events at 11 a.m. and field events at noon with the weight throw.
The women’s field at the Razorback Invitational will include eight top-25 teams. Two of the top five teams in the country and seven of the top 20 will be in Fayetteville this weekend. Including the third-ranked Razorbacks, the two-day event will also feature No. 2 LSU, No. 9 Florida State, No. 12 Arizona, No. 13 Georgia, No. 16 Baylor, No. 19 Oklahoma and No. 24 Stanford. The meet will also include Oklahoma State, SMU and TCU.
"We’re really excited about this weekend," head coach Lance Harter said. "This is a meet that’s been circled on the calendar since this whole concept came together of bringing this many quality teams to compete head to head. The reason they are quality teams is because they have great individuals so the events, across the board, are going to be simply outstanding."
Heading into the weekend competition, the Razorbacks own seven top-10 national marks led by an NCAA-leading mark of 14-3.25 by Tina Sutej in the pole vault. Regina George (53.61) and Whitney Jones (53.86) have the second- and fifth-fastest times in the 400 meters. At 800 meters, Samantha Learch (2:10.08) has the No. 8 time in the event. Stephanie Brown (4:43.41) is 10th in the mile and Kristen Gillespie (9:20.91) is seventh over 3,000 meters. Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay team has a season-best time of 3:36.16, the No. 4 time in the country.
In the Jan. 24 release of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings, Arkansas holds steady at No. 3, its spot in the preseason poll. The Razorbacks are one of four teams from the SEC ranked this week along with LSU, Georgia and No. 17 Tennessee.
Overall, the Razorback Invitational is scheduled to see the nation’s top performers in the 200 meters with Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU, high jump with Brigetta Barrett of Arizona, pole vault with Sutej, long jump with Whitney Gipson of TCU and shot put with Tia Brooks of Oklahoma. There are also several student-athletes in the field that are ranked within the top 10 of their respective event.
This will mark the Razorbacks’ second home indoor meet of the season, and first since the season-opening Arkansas Invitational. For meet coverage, including video stream, live results and interactive blog, and more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: Razorback Invitational Start Lists.pdf