FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On a rain-soaked and soggy day in Springfield, Ore., Arkansas Razorback sophomore Catherine White paced the No. 11 women’s cross country team to a runner-up finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon, on Saturday.
"It was wet, raining hard and a sloppy course today but our team battled through it," head coach Lance Harter said. "What another strong race for Catherine White. Denise Bargiachi also ran very well. Jillian Rosen had a real breakthrough race for us today. Dacia Perkins and Christine Kalmer struggled a bit with their footing because of the conditions but overall we had a strong day."
No. 1 Oregon won the team title with 23 points. The Ducks scored five runners in the top 10. Penn State, receiving votes in the USTFCCCA poll, finished third in the team race with 107 points. Wake Forest was fourth with 115 points. No. 23 BYU was fifth with 126 points.
"Today’s race went just about as we expected," Harter said. "It was pretty true to form. We are still a good month away from where we need to be with our training and today was reflective of that. We are right on cue for where we need to be heading in to the Chile Pepper Festival and the SEC Championships. We are right on schedule and today was a really positive effort for us."
Running in its first 6,000-meter race of the season, Arkansas topped seven other schools in the team race, including teams ranked in the USTFCCCA poll and receiving votes. Arkansas had three harriers finish in the top 11, five in the top 20 and seven in the top 53. Impressively, there was slightly more than one minute between Arkansas’ first and fifth runners.
White, Arkansas’ top finisher in all three meets this season, was third behind two members of No. 1 Oregon’s squad and finished ahead of 80 runners. Her 6,000-meter time of 20:30.55 earned her a bronze finish. She paced two of her teammates to top-11 finishes and four of her teammates to top-20 finishes.
"The rain really wasn’t a factor," White said. "Everyone had to run in it. This race felt really good. I feel really strong with not much fatigue at all. I feel like I should at this point in the season. The whole team had a solid performance today. We are always trying to work together and run as a pack. This was a good stepping stone for myself and the rest of the team."
Denise Bargiachi was the second Razorback to cross the finish line. Clocking a 6K time of 20:57.97, she earned an eighth-place finish overall. Jillian Rosen finished 11th, recording a time of 21:13.77. Both times will rank in the top three among SEC competitors.
Dacia Perkins finished 18 as Arkansas’ fourth runner, clocking a time of 21:26.53. Christine Kalmer rounded out the Razorbacks’ scoring five. With a 6,000-meter time of 21:31.89, she finished 20th overall.
Also competing for Arkansas were Cali George (49th; 22:06.79), Samantha Learch (53rd; 22:16.67), Ashley Williams (61st; 22:31.07) and Ashley Mason (73rd; 22:59.17). Harter was impressed with George and Learch’s performances in their first collegiate 6,000-meter races.
For more information on Arkansas Razorback women’s cross country, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.