FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 7 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team continues its outdoor season at the 2011 SEC Championships this weekend. The conference’s best will compete May 12-15 at the Spec Towns Track in Athens, Ga. Competition for the Razorbacks begins Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (CT) with the heptathlon.
"We head into a battle with the best of the best at the SEC meet," head coach Lance Harter said. "LSU is the top-ranked team in the country with a lot of firepower. Florida has a tradition of showing up strong at the conference meet and host Georgia wants to put on a good show at home, but I think we have a crew that is going to be very formidable."
The Razorbacks have five SEC event leaders with Shelise Williams in the 400 meters, Stephanie Brown in the 800 meters, Tina Sutej in the pole vault, Makeba Alcide in the heptathlon and the 4×400-meter relay. Other top-three performers include Regina George (400m), Brown and Kristen Gillespie (1,500m), Ivanique Kemp (100m hurdles), Cali George and Megan Jackson (steeplechase), Tara Diebold (pole vault) and Shantel Thompson (triple jump).
Arkansas enters the SEC Championships as the seventh-ranked team in the country in this week’s release of the USTFCCCA national poll. The team is up one spot after being eighth in the previous release. There are five SEC teams inside the Top 25, including the Razorbacks, top-ranked LSU, No. 13 Auburn, host and No. 18 Georgia and No. 21 Tennessee.
For their performances last weekend at the Arkansas Twilight, George and Sutej were named the SEC Female Runner and Field Athlete of the Week, respectively. George won the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 52.57 and ran the second leg on the Razorbacks’ 4×100-meter relay that clocked a winning time of 44.62, a season best. Sutej extended her winning streak in the pole vault to 12 competitions with her school-record performance. She cleared 14-9.5 (4.51m) to improve upon her own record.
The Razorbacks have won three SEC outdoor titles in program history with team victories in 2000, 2001 and 2004, the fourth most among conference teams. Sutej and Arkansas’ 4×400-meter relay are the defending conference champions. Collectively, Arkansas has racked up 52 SEC event titles.
The 2011 SEC Outdoor Championships will be contested May 12-15 at the Spec Towns Track in Athens, Ga. In addition to meet coverage at ArkansasRazorbacks.com, the conference meet will be streamed live at ESPN3.com Saturday from 3-5:30 p.m. (CT) and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. A tape-delay broadcast of the SEC Championships will be aired May 25 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
Download: Notes 19_SEC Championships (women).pdf