DES MOINES, Iowa – The collegiate season for the No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team comes to a close June 6-9 with the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. The Razorbacks have 10 entries at the national meet, the seventh-highest total in the country. Competition begins Wednesday with action in the pole vault and semifinal rounds of the 400 meters and 4×100-meter relay. The event continues through Saturday.
"This is the ultimate competition of our season," head coach Lance Harter said. "This is what you work for, head-to-head competition with the best of the best all going after a national title, individually and as a team. To use an old but true cliché, we will have to be at our best and bring our A-game this week because there is no let up at this level of competition."
The Razorbacks have eight individual entries to go along with two relays at the NCAA Championships. The team will be represented at 200 meters by Tiffany Hines, at 400 meters by Regina George and Whitney Jones, at 1,500 meter by Kristen Gillespie, in the 100-meter hurdles by Ivanique Kemp and Brittany Hyter, in the pole vault by Tina Sutej and in the heptathlon by Makeba Alcide.
The national performance list features four top-10 season marks by the Razorbacks with Sutej (4.55m/14-11) ranked No. 1 in the pole vault, George (51.79) at No. 5 at 400 meters, Gillespie (4:13.33) at No. 6 at 1,500 meters and the team’s 4×400 relay (3:31.16) ranked seventh in the NCAA. Arkansas will also have its 4×100-meter relay at the meet for the first time since 2004.
In the USTFCCCA rankings entering the national meet, Arkansas moved up one spot to No. 12. The SEC is tied for the national lead with five ranked teams this week. The May 29 poll was based solely on team qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. Earlier this week, the organization recognized associate head coach Rolando Greene as the South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Overall, the Razorbacks have four top-10 finishes at the national outdoor meet with a program-best fifth place in 2001. Last season, Arkansas finished in 14th place in the team standings with 18 points. The team has four national outdoor champions, most recently with Aneita Denton winning the 800-meter crown in 2005. Sutej has been the national outdoor runner-up the past two seasons in the pole vault.
The final day of the NCAA Championships will be televised by ESPNU, beginning at 11 a.m. (CT). The ESPNU commentary team will include Trey Bender (play-by-play), Larry Rawson (analyst) and Jill Montgomery (reporter). The entire meet will be streamed live through ESPN3.com, with the exception of Wednesday which will be streamed at NCAA.com.
Live results will be available online at NCAA.com and FlashResults.com, and accessible via a link from the Championships Central page on the Drake Athletics website, GoDrakeBulldogs.com. Quote, notes, photos and event information will also be available at the host’s site.
In addition to video and live results, meet coverage for the Razorbacks will include an interactive blog which will begin 15 minutes before the start of competition each day. For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
NCAA Championships ScheduleWednesday, June 65:30 p.m. – Pole vault (prelim/final)5:45 p.m. – 4x100m (semifinal)7 p.m. – 400m (semifinal)
Thursday, June 71 p.m. – Heptathlon (day one)5:45 p.m. – 200m (semifinal)6:30 p.m. – 1,500m (semifinal)7:10 p.m. – 100m hurdles (semifinal)8:25 p.m. – 4x400m (semifinal)
Friday, June 83 p.m. – Heptathlon (day two)7:02 p.m. – 400m (final)
Saturday, June 911:10 a.m. – 4x100m (final)11:28 a.m. – 1,500m (final)11:47 a.m. – 200m (final)12:14 p.m. – 100m hurdles (final)12:50 p.m. – 4x400m (final)
Where to WatchNCAA.com (Wednesday)ESPN3.com (Thursday-Saturday)ESPNU (Saturday, 11 a.m.)