AMES, Iowa – Sophomore pole vaulter Stacie Manuel and the University of Arkansas 4×400-meter relay each improved their NCAA provisional qualifying status at the Iowa State Qualifier in Ames, Iowa, over the weekend.
Manuel soared to a season best 13 feet, five and three-quarter inches to improve more than an inch from her Southeastern Conference Championship performance. Her clearance took her from a questionable spot on the NCAA’s descending order list to an almost guaranteed position at 13th best in the nation. The NCAA Indoor Track Championships committee usually takes anywhere from 15-18 qualifiers at each event.
“We were concerned that Stacie wouldn’t get in.” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “I’m happy that she was able to improve and now we’ll just wait and see what happens with the provisional qualifiers.”
Arkansas’ relay squad of Paige Farrell, Tominque Boatright, Sydney Scarbrough and Aneita Denton also did what they could to make a bid for the NCAA Championships by dropping their season best by a tenth of a second, but despite their best efforts still sit at 19th on the national list and are on the outside looking in. In the relay events, the NCAA committee has typically put the cut off line at 10 teams.
Also looking strong at the meet was Farrell in the 800 meters. Running a season and career best at the SEC Championships last weekend, Farrell missed that mark by a fraction of a second when she ran her second-fastest mark at 2:07.33. While she did not improve her standing, the SEC mark has the Springdale, Ark., native ranked 14th on the national list.
Rounding out Arkansas’ list of competitors at the last chance meet was Kasia Williams in the 60-meter hurdles where she hovered around her season best time of 8.20, but came up just shy, running, 8.23, 8.25 and 8.26 in the preliminaries, semi-finals and finals of the competition.
The Lady Razorbacks now play a waiting game as they eagerly anticipate the release of the final list of qualifiers for the NCAA Championships to be held in Fayetteville, Friday and Saturday, March 11-12. The qualifiers are to be posted on the NCAA Championships website on Monday evening. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.