FAYETTEVILLE — In its final opportunity to gain national qualifiers, the fourth-ranked University of Arkansas women’s track and field team will host the Arkansas Final Qualifier Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Competition at the last-chance meet is set to begin with field events at noon (CT) while running events are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start. At the conclusion of this weekend’s action across the country, the field of qualifiers for the NCAA Championships will be announced Monday. General admission tickets for home meets during the regular season are $5. Fans 17 years and younger are admitted free and University of Arkansas students get in free with their valid student ID. Doors at the Randal Tyson Track Center open one hour prior to the start of competition. The Razorbacks enter the weekend with five athletes positioned inside the national top 30 but outside the top-16 event rankings. Of that group, three will be in competition Friday with Gwendolyn Flowers at 400 meters, Kirsten Hesseltine in the high jump and Danielle Nowell in the pole vault. Ivanique Kemp, currently tied for 16th in the 60-meter hurdles, will also compete Friday looking to improve her spot within the national standings. “Ivanique Kemp needs to run two-hundredths of a second faster,” head coach Lance Harter said. “I can’t even describe how far that is in feet and inches but it’s miniscule. She’ll run the hurdles this weekend. We’re also going to run some 800-meter runners. Martine Borge wants to take another shot at a qualifying time and Keri Wood will run as more of a tune-up for a distance-medley situation at the national meet.” Kemp has a season-best time of 8.23 which she ran at the Razorback Invitational in January. At last year’s Final Qualifier, she took advantage of the weekend with a school-record performance of 8.13 which qualified her for the NCAA meet. Kemp would not have advanced with her season best entering that meet. Flowers enter the weekend with a season-best time of 53.48 at 400 meters, which is good for the No. 26 performance in the nation this year. In the high jump, Hesseltine is one of nine jumpers in the NCAA tied for No. 22 in the country with a season-best clearance of 1.80m/5-10.75. Nowell has a season-best clearance of 4.10m/13-5.25 in the pole vault, which ties her for No. 24 in the NCAA. While in the past automatic and provisional qualifying marks were used to select the field for the championships, all guidelines have been removed this season. Just the top 16 performers in individual events and the top 12 eligible relay teams will advance. Despite their victory at the SEC Championships, the Razorbacks dropped one spot in the USTFCCCA rankings from last week’s No. 3 position. The conference continues to have five teams within the top 10, and has a nation-leading top-25 teams. In addition to Arkansas, the conference is represented by top-ranked LSU, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Georgia, No. 10 Florida, No. 15 South Carolina and No. 25 Mississippi State. In a Thursday release by the USTFCCCA, two Razorbacks are on the latest edition of The Bowerman Watch List. On the heels of their SEC-title performances last weekend, seniors Makeba Alcide and Regina George have earned a spot on the watch list. Alcide is a holdover from the February release while George is making her first appearance. The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation. Arkansas will host the NCAA Indoor Championships next weekend (March 8-9) at the Tyson Center for the 11th time in program history. For tickets, visit the Razorback Ticket Center on Razorback Road by Baum Stadium, log on to the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or call 800-982-HOGS (4647). Keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.
Download: WTR Weekly Update_Feb. 26.pdf