WACO, Texas – The No. 17 University of Arkansas women’s cross country team returns to the course Saturday morning for the 2011 NCAA South Central Regional Championship. The women’s 6K race is scheduled for an 11:15 a.m. (CT) start at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco, Texas. The top-two finishing teams will secure a berth into the NCAA Championship meet.
The Razorbacks enter the weekend as the second-highest ranked team in the South Central region. Arkansas is the No. 17 team in the country while Texas is ranked 14th in the most recent USTFCCCA national poll. The two teams have swapped the 1-2 spots in the region throughout the season. Including Arkansas and Texas, the top-five regional rankings include SMU, Rice and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Last season at the regional championship meet, the Razorbacks finished third and were represented individually at the NCAA Championship by 2010 senior Miranda Walker. Arkansas last advanced to the national meet in 2008 after a first-place run at the South Central regional. Since the regional meets were first held in 1982, Arkansas has been among the top-three teams every season and has been one of the two automatic bids to the NCAA Championship on 22 occasions.
The Razorbacks began their championship season with a second-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championship held Oct. 31 in Maryville, Tenn. Kristen Gillespie was the individual conference champion and went on to be selected the 2011 SEC Runner of the Year. Kaitlin Flattmann, the top freshman finisher in the race, was named the SEC Freshman of the Year for her performance.
All of the teams are running for a spot at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championship which will be run Nov. 21 at the LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind. For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.