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Near misses for former Lady’Backs at USAs

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Near misses for former Lady’Backs at USAs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Former University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track standouts April Steiner and LaShaunte’a Moore just missed out on the United States World Championship team on the final day of the US Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

Steiner finished sixth in the pole vault while Moore took fourth in the 200-meter dash, just missing out on the top three who earned spots on the USA Track roster for the Osaka, Japan, World Championships.

“They came close, but this is a very tough competition,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “The conditions were really bad today with rain and swirling winds, but it was an even field for everyone.”

Moore began the day with the semifinals of the 200 where she would record the third fastest time of the prelims by winning her heat in 22.71 seconds. Earning herself a preferred lane for the finals, she returned to the track just a couple of hours later and used a great final 100 meters to put herself into contention.

Coming off the turn, Moore appeared to be as far back as sixth or seventh, but her closing speed over the final 100 meters moved her in front of several runners and nearly into a qualifier for the US team. Her time of 22.58 in the finals was just shy of the team, but does make her eligible for the 4×100-meter relay pool, an opportunity that she was also afforded in 2004 when she represented the United States at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens, Greece.

The pole vault competition was the one event on the day that was severely hampered by the weather. World record challenger Jen Stuczynski would win the competition with a pedestrian vault of 14-7 considering she has cleared 16 feet in competition. Steiner was also a factor not just for the team, but fir the win as she cleared 14-3 ¼. Opening her day at 13-9 ¼, Steiner flew over the bar on her first attempt. The next height would be 14-3 ¼ and while she would eventually clear it on her third attempt and be one of just a handful to do so, her two misses at the height would prevent her from making the US team. There was a five-way tie for third at 14-3 ¼, but Steiner’s two misses dropped her to sixth place and outside the top three.

Current Lady Razorback senior Jodi Unger was scheduled to compete in the vault, but a rough warm-up caused by the track conditions forced the four-time all-American and NCAA runner-up to drop out of the event prior to its start.

The end of the USA Championships concludes the 2007 Outdoor Track season for the current Lady Razorbacks, but former stars like Christin Thomas, Deena Kastor and Gi-Gi Miller continue their seasons at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan later this summer. For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Track & Field (W)