NEW ORLEANS – Despite losing four seniors the Arkansas women’s cross country team collected 263 points to give the Razorbacks a ninth place rank in the 2015 USTFCCCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Last year’s national runner-up Iowa State claimed the top spot in the poll with 335 points.
The Razorbacks capped a successful 2014 season with a fifth place finish at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Prior to last year’s final meet Arkansas had captured five out of six team titles across their regular and post-season lineup finishing second at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational to eventual national champions Michigan State.
Arkansas has finished as one of the top 25 teams in the nation four-consecutive years.
Head coach Lance Harter has guided the Razorbacks to seven top-five finishes over the past 25 seasons including four runner-up finishes (‘91, ‘92, ‘93, ‘99). Harter’s student-athletes have been the recipients of 20 All-American honors with the Razorbacks highest individual finish coming in 1992, Deena Drossin (second) and 1999, Amy Yoder (second).
Arkansas returns two-time All-American Dominique Scott along with Kaitlin Flattmann, Valerie Reina, Kelsey Schrader and Regan Ward, all of whom have made an appearance in the Razorbacks scoring five rotation.
Freshman Safee Belbina, Devin Clark and Claudia Verstraten as well as Oregon transfers Therese Haiss and Nikki Hiltz round out this year’s top-10 team and will all play a role in the success of the Razorbacks this season.
Belbina was Arkansas’ second finisher this past Tuesday in Stillwater where the Razorbacks opened their season at the Cowboy Preview. The Flower Mound native posted the second best finish by a freshman in the competition and claimed the sixth overall spot out of 34 runners.
The Razorbacks compete next in Riverside, Calif. at the UC Riverside Invitational on Sept. 12.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.