FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 1 Arkansas women’s track and field team will host the Arkansas Open at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Saturday, Feb. 21. The first event of the meet is schedule to start at noon.
After this weekend, the Razorbacks will travel to Lexington, Ky. for the 2015 SEC Indoor Championships (Feb. 27-28).
SEC NETWORK+ BROADCAST
Fans will be able to watch the Razorbacks in action during the Arkansas Open, as Saturday’s action will feature live streaming video on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN App. Coverage will begin at 12 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT | TYSON INVITE & HUSKY CLASSIC
In their last outing the Razorbacks competed at the 2015 Tyson Invite and Husky Classic (Seattle, Wash.).
At the Tyson Invite, Megan Zimlich took first in the pole vault with a mark of 13-9. The junior picked up her first career event title with the win on Friday.
Junior Taylor Ellis-Watson took second in the 400 meter dash with a personal-best 51.72, while senior Chrishuna Williams (53.33), sophomore Daina Harper (53.75) and senior Sparkle McKnight (53.76) finished 12th, 16th and 17th, respectively. Williams also took third in the 800 meter run with her time of 2:05.73, and Ellis-Watson took first in the 200 meter dash with a personal-best 23.08, which is the second fastest time in the SEC this season.
Up in Seattle, Washington at the Husky Classic, Diane Robison set a personal-best in the 5,000 meter with her time of 15:50.88. Senior Dominique Scott won the 3,000 meter in 8:52.57. The Capetown, South Africa native’s time was a personal-best, a Husky Classic meet record, a program record, top time in the country this season and the fifth-best time in collegiate history.
Therese Haiss and Jessica Kamilos finished 2-3 thanks to personal-best times in the mile. Haiss finished in 4:36.31, while Kamilos crossed the finishline in 4:36.56.
On Monday (Feb. 16) the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its fourth regular season edition of the NCAA Division I National Team Computer Rankings and the Arkansas women’s track and field team checked in at No. 1.
“This is all a tribute to the hard work and performances from our student-athletes so far this season,” said head coach Lance Harter. “I think this ranking issues a challenge for us to rise to another level and I think our team is up to that. We will continue to work hard, make good decisions and look forward to the great competition coming our way.”
The Razorbacks ended Georgia‘s short-lived reign at the top with their first No. 1 rank in the eight-year history of the rankings. The highest rank for Arkansas prior to Monday had been two consecutive No. 2 showings to end the 2012 regular season.
The USTFCCCA also released the fourth regular season NCAA Division I Regional Rankings and the Razorbacks kept their No. 1 spot in the South Central Region. The national team rankings are compiled by mathematical formulae based on national descending order lists. The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. Preseason rankings included marks from 2014, and the National Team Computer Rankings will continue to do so through the third regular-season edition.
Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
6. Kansas State
7. Texas A&M
11. Southern California
13. Southern Illinois
14. Texas Tech
17. Mississippi State
19. Florida State
23. Miami (Fla.)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Regional Rankings (Top 15) | South Central Region
2. Texas A&M
7. Texas State
8. Arkansas State
9. Louisiana Tech
14. Stephen F. Austin
15. Sam Houston State
TRACK & FIELD NEWS INDOOR DUAL MEET CHAMPS
The No. 1 Arkansas women’s track and field team garnered recognition for their efforts this season as they won the Track & Field News indoor dual meet national title. The final collegiate indoor dual meet rankings of 2015 were compiled by Jesse Squire for Track and Field News.
To be considered for a ranking, a team must compete in one or more dual meets (defined as a scored meet between 4 or fewer teams) during the indoor season. Ranking criteria include win/loss record, strength and depth of schedule, and quality and breadth of marks. The rankings reward teams that take dual meet competition seriously.
Head coach Lance Harter and his Razorbacks won the T&FN indoor dual meet national title for the first time in program history.
This, however, is just the halfway point in the collegiate season. The big prize, the overall indoor/outdoor dual meet championship, is still up for grabs. The preseason outdoor rankings will be released on March 19.
SEC WEEKLY HONOR
Senior Dominique Scott has been named Southeastern Conference Co-Runner of the Week the league office announced on Tuesday, February 17, marking the third time in her career that she has earned a SEC indoor weekly honor.
The Capetown, South Africa native earned the award for her record-breaking performance at the 2015 Husky Classic in Seattle Wash. Scott won the 3,000 meter in a blistering 8:52.57, more than two seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Her time was a personal-best, a Husky Classic meet record, a program record, the top time in the SEC and the country this season as well as the fifth-best time in collegiate history.
BEST WEEK EVER
Senior Sandi Morris had an unprecedented week as she earned a trio of awards during the first week of February. The Greenville, S.C. native earned USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week (Feb. 3) and SEC Field Athlete of the Week (Feb. 3) and was also named to the 10-member February Watch list for The Bowerman Award (Feb. 5).
The senior earned the USTFCCCA and SEC honors for her record-breaking performance in the pole vault that helped lead Arkansas take the team title at the Razorback Invite at the Randal Tyson Track Center Jan 30-31. For the third time this season Morris gave the home fans a show in the pole vault. The senior won her third pole vault title at the Randal Tyson Track Center, her fourth overall on the season, with a mark of 15-3 to set a new personal-best and program record. The Greenville, S.C. native’s mark also gave her the No. 2 mark in college history and the best height not achieved at altitude.
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation. In total, the winners from the award’s first four years have won two Olympic Medals, two World Championships and six World Championships medals. When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, four World Championships and 17 World Championships medals.
HALL OF FAME
In recognition of his standout career, University of Arkansas women’s cross country and track and field head coach Lance Harter was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coaches Hall of Fame on Monday, Dec. 15.
Harter, in his 25th year as the Razorback women’s cross country and track and field head coach, was one of six members of the Class of 2014 inductees and was joined by Chris Daymont, Tom Donnelly, Joey Haines, Ed Nuttycombe and the late Johnny Thomas. The 2014 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place Monday, Dec. 15, at the organization’s annual convention in Phoenix.
Through his 25 year career at Arkansas, Harter has led the Razorbacks to 14 NCAA top-five finishes, including four national cross country runner-up performances, and 23 Southeastern Conference (SEC) team titles, including the most recent addition with the 2014 cross country title at Agri Park. Individually, Harter’s Razorback student-athletes have won 15 NCAA event titles and 134 conference event titles.
As a reflection of his Arkansas success on the national level, Harter has been named the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year on three occasions and SEC Coach of the Year for each of his team’s 23 titles. The Razorbacks’ conference titles including 15 cross country, four indoor track and field and four outdoor track and field crowns. During the 2013-14 athletic season, Arkansas won two—cross country, outdoor track and field—of the three SEC legs.
Prior to his days in Fayetteville, Harter won 13 Division II national team titles at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo which still stands as the fifth-largest collection by a Division II coach in any sport. Individually, he guided his student-athletes to 30 national event titles in his time at Cal Poly-SLO.
In addition to numerous other national and regional coaching awards, Harter has previously been inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Honor, Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame and Cal Poly Hall of Fame. On the international level, Harter served as the assistant coach for Team USA at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and head coach of Team USA at the 1999 IAAF World Championship in Seville, Spain.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 2014 INDOOR SEASON
Head coach Lance Harter and his Razorbacks finished in sixth place at the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships. Following the national meet, Arkansas earned 19 All-American honors, highlighted by the national champion distance medley relay team of Grace Heymsfield, Chrishuna Williams, Stephanie Brown and Dominique Scott. The top-seeded distance medley relay team made Arkansas history by winning the first-ever distance-medley relay title for the Razorbacks in 11:05.83.
Arkansas took third at the 2014 SEC Indoor Championships, finishing with 93.5 points, behind first-place Florida (102) and Texas A&M in second (96.5). The third-place finished marked the seventh-consecutive year the Razorbacks have finished in the top three at the SEC Indoor Championships.
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