FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On the heels of the program’s first-ever NCAA team title, national postseason honors continued for the University of Arkansas women’s track and field team Thursday afternoon. Dominique Scott has been named the USTFCCCA Track Athlete of the Year while head coach Lance Harter was tabbed the National Coach of the Year by the organization. Meanwhile, Sandi Morris continued her run on the Bowerman Watch List.
With its win at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships, Arkansas moved into first place in the most recent Terry Crawford Program of the Year standings. The award, which debuted in 2008-09, measures a program’s combined success in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. The Razorbacks started the competition year with a fifth-place finish in cross country. Arkansas has finished third in the Program of the Year standings the past two seasons.
Thursday’s announcement marks the second national USTFCCCA honor for Harter who previously earned top coaching accolades in 2000 when Arkansas had its then-best NCAA finish of third place. Under his guide, the Razorbacks scored in each of the 10 events they had national qualifiers on their way to scoring the third-most points (63) in meet history. Along with the NCAA team crown, Arkansas also won the SEC indoor title and earned its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the Feb. 16 release of the USTFCCCA poll.
Running in front of a home crowd at the national indoor meet, Scott doubled up with NCAA titles at 3,000 meters and with the Razorbacks’ distance-medley relay. Teaming with Therese Haiss, Jessica Kamilos and Sparkle McKnight in the DMR, Scott anchored Arkansas to a school-record time of 10:51.89, also good for the second-fastest time in NCAA history. She went on to claim her first individual NCAA title at 3,000 meters in 8:55.19, more than three seconds ahead of the runner-up. Scott was also named the Co-SEC Runner of the Year after doubling up—mile and 3K—at the conference meet.
Morris capped her indoor season with an NCAA title in the pole vault. With her final clearance of 4.60m/15-1, she equaled the meet record and posted her fifth winning clearance of 15’ or higher. She joined former Arkansas standout Tina Sutej (2011, 2012) as an NCAA champion in the event. Morris began the championship campaign at with a win at the SEC meet in Lexington, improving upon her own school record with a 4.66m/15-3.5 clearance. The Greenville, S.C., native won eight of nine competitions during the indoor season.
The Bowerman award, 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. In total, the winners from the award’s first five years have won three Olympic medals, two World Championship titles and six World Championship medals. The next women’s Watch List will be released April 16.
A tape-delay broadcast of the NCAA Indoor Championship will air Monday, March 23, starting at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU. Dwight Stones and Larry Rawson will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties, respectively. Replays of the meet are currently available on ESPN3 and through the WatchESPN app.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.