FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 6 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team will compete this weekend at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York. The two-day meet will be held Feb. 4-5 at the Armory Track & Field Center. This will mark the Razorbacks’ fourth meet of the 2011 indoor season, and second on the road. Competition begins Friday at 9:50 a.m. (CT).
A total of 12 nationally ranked teams are included in the field of competition. Including the Razorbacks, the field is scheduled to also feature No. 7 BYU, No. 22 Georgetown, No. 3 LSU, No. 25 Ohio State, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 21 South Carolina, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 8 Texas, No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 17 Texas Tech and No. 13 Villanova.
In the team’s last outing, Arkansas racked up a school record, three NCAA automatic-qualifying marks and four event wins at the Razorback Invitational. The 4×400-meter relay team of Whitney Jones, Shelise Williams, Gwendolyn Flowers and Regina George ran to victory in a school-record time of 3:32.48. Williams also secured her spot at the NCAA Championships with a 52.59 in a first-place performance in the 400 meters. In the pole vault, Tina Sutej had a nation-leading clearance of 14-6, her third automatic qualifier of the season.
For their respective performances at the Razorback Invitational, Williams was named the SEC Female Runner of the Week and Sutej was recognized as the league’s Field Athlete of the Week.
The top six spots in the Feb. 1 release of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) top-25 poll remain unchanged from the previous week with Arkansas slotted as the sixth-ranked team in the nation. The Razorbacks are one of five teams from the SEC ranked among the nation’s best joining LSU, Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina.
Arkansas student-athletes sit at the top of three event rankings this week with Sutej in the pole vault, Williams in the 400 meters and the quartet in the 4×400-meter relay. Tara Diebold joins Sutej in the pole vault rankings with a clearance of 13-9.25, good for No. 8 in the NCAA. Led by Williams, the top 10 in the 400 meters also includes George (seventh, 53.67) and Jones (10th, 53.79). Stephanie Brown is seventh in the 800 meters (2:06.53) while Shantel Thompson is 10th in the triple jump (42-2).
Following their weekend in New York, the Razorbacks return to Fayetteville to host the Tyson Invitational, to be held Feb. 11-12 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Results and free webcast will be available at ny.milesplit.com. For fans wishing to follow the action of the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, visit this weekend’s interactive blog at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: Notes 5_NB Collegiate Invitational.pdf