FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s cross country team placed four runners in the top 10 on its way to the meet title Friday at the Inter-Regional Bubble Buster at Ottawa Park in Toledo, Ohio. The Razorbacks were paced by a third-place individual finish from sophomore Stephanie Brown. Arkansas finished the race with 36 team points, placing ahead of nationally ranked West Virginia and Toledo.
Friday’s field featured eight teams all ranked inside the top 11 of their respective region. West Virginia entered the meet as the 19th-ranked team in the country while host Toledo is the No. 29 team in the most recent national poll. All five of the Razorbacks’ scorers finished in the top 12 of the race.
"We pulled off a big upset," head coach Lance Harter said. "We ran great today and the kids did a great job. Even more impressive than the team effort were the individual performances that put it together. Stephanie Brown finished third overall, just behind a pair of returning All-Americans from West Virginia. Her time (13:25) has to be one of the fastest (4K) times we’ve ever had."
Brown was the Razorbacks’ top finisher, leading the team with a time of 13:25 in the 4K race. The performance is the fastest ever at that distance by a Razorback, replacing the previous record of 13:44 set in 2006 by Christine Kalmer.
Behind Brown, Arkansas’ second and third finishers were Kristen Gillespie and Jessica Jackson, respectively. Gillespie finished sixth overall in a time of 13:37.3 while Jackson posted a time of 13:38.5, good for a seventh-place finish. Jillian Rosen (13:39.4) and Kaitlin Flattmann (13:45.4) rounded out the Razorbacks’ top five. Rosen finished eighth overall and Flattmann, despite an early race stumble, rallied to cross the line in 12th place.
Arkansas’ other finishers were Dominique Scott in 14th place overall, Cali George in 23rd, Keri Wood in 26th, Courtney Falco in 58th, Michaela Bauer in 61st and Samantha Thompson in 69th.
"We showed great depth in addition to some really quality performances," Harter said. "I think we’re gaining some confidence as we start to go further into the schedule. We’ll move up to 5K next week at Notre Dame and then up again with a 6K at Chile Pepper."
Following its performance at Toledo, Arkansas now moves on to the Notre Dame Invitational next Friday in South Bend, Ind. For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
2011 Inter-Regional Bubble Buster(Toledo, Ohio)1.ARKANSAS, 362.No. 19 West Virginia, 573.San Francisco, 1014.Columbia, 1065.No. 29 Toledo, 1156.Baylor, 1357.Ohio State, 1528.Eastern Michigan, 204