FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fresh off arguably its best full year in program history, Arkansas women’s cross country and track and field is ready to kick off a new season with competition slated to begin on Sept. 1.
The Razorback cross country team will look to build upon the momentum from 2015-16, opening their campaign in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the Cowboy Duals. Arkansas will make stops at the Missouri Southern Stampede (Sept. 17) and Riverside Invitational (Sept. 17) before returning home to Agri Park for the 28th Annual Chile Pepper Festival.
Arkansas’ final stop during the regular season will be at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana, for one last tune-up before postseason competition.
“We’ve had a longstanding tradition of going to Wisconsin, but with so many newcomers on our roster I felt it was imperative that we go preview the NCAA course at Pre-Nats,” head coach Lance Harter said. “We lost a pretty key individual in Dominique Scott but the heart of the team is returning and we have one of the best – if not the best – freshman class coming in that we’ve ever had giving us a lot of depth for the upcoming season.”
Harter’s returning squad boasts three 2015 All-SEC and All-Region performers including Valerie Reina, Kelsey Schrader and Regan Ward. In addition to the talented trio, last season’s breakthrough freshman Devin Clark will look to improve upon her first-year campaign which saw the Spring Branch, Texas, prodigy place inside the top 50 at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championship.
Clark capped her freshman year this past July as the USATF junior steeplechase champion, following an American junior record-setting performance in the event earlier in June.
Several new recruits are poised to continue the Razorbacks’ winning tradition this season including two Gatorade Runners of the Year in Abby Gray (Texas) and Taylor Werner (Missouri) as well as four-time Texas cross country All-State selection Maddy Reed.
South African native Carina Viljoen will also make her debut this season for Arkansas entering her first year with an impressive 3K PR of 9 minutes, 48.22 seconds.
Fans will get three chances to see Arkansas in action with the regular season Chile Pepper Festival and twice during the postseason as the Razorbacks host the SEC and South Central Regional Championships.
2016 Cross Country Schedule
Thurs, Sept. 1 – Cowboy Duals (Stillwater, Okla.) 8:00 a.m.
Sat, Sept. 17 – Southern Stampede (Joplin, Mo.) 8:30 a.m.
Sat, Sept. 17 – Riverside Invitational (Riverside, Calif.) 9:30 a.m.
Sat, Oct. 1 – Chile Pepper Festival (Agri Park) 10:20 a.m.
Sat, Oct. 15 – Pre-Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.) 10:00 a.m.
Fri, Oct. 28 – SEC Championship (Agri Park) 11:00 a.m.
Fri, Nov. 11 – NCAA South Central Regional (Agri Park) 10:00 a.m.
Sat, Nov. 19 – NCAA Championship (Terre Haute, Ind.) 10:00 a.m.
Bold denotes a home event.
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.